On Campus

Man found guilty of Eastern Michigan U murder

University president was forced to resign after cover-up

A man was convicted Monday in the strangulation of a fellow Eastern Michigan University student in her dormitory room, a case that led to a fine against the school for covering up the death.

Orange Taylor III, 21, was convicted of first-degree murder, assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, home invasion and theft charges.

He faces a mandatory term of life in prison without parole on the murder conviction at sentencing in May.

Laura Dickinson, 22, died in December 2006 in her dorm at the Ypsilanti school. Taylor’s first trial ended in a hung jury. Taylor’s lawyers argued Dickinson died of natural causes. They called no witnesses in either trial.

The family plans to appeal, Taylor’s brother, Genaro Cofield, told The Ann Arbor News.

"We’re very disappointed. We still believe that (Taylor) did not kill Laura Dickinson," Cofield said.

But, Cofield added: "We hope the Dickinson family can have some closure. This is a tragic day for both families. The Dickinsons lost a daughter and today my mother lost a son."

The Education Department fined Eastern Michigan $357,500 for covering up the death. The case led to the removal of university President John Fallon and others.

The university said it also paid Dickinson’s family $2.5 million in a settlement but did not admit wrongdoing.

with a report from AP

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