PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Belinda Taylor-Strachan drove to Polk County from her Port St. Lucie home, almost 350 miles a day, for five weeks. She felt compelled to witness the trial of the man accused of killing her oldest daughter.
"It was a lot to bear," she sighed.
Taylor-Strachan says the five-week trial was a nightmare, but she couldn't turn away.
30-year-old Robert McCloud of Apopka was found guilty in the home invasion murder of Taylor-Strachan's daughter, Tamiqa Taylor, 26. The robbery happened in a Poinciana home three years ago. Dustin Freeman, 23, was also shot to death.
"I couldn't save Tamiqa, but I could definitely be there, representing her, and let them know even in death, she's still loved," said Taylor-Strachan.
Prosecutors say Taylor was shot, execution style, in the back of the head. She was a victim in what prosecutors say was a drug-related killing rage originally aimed at someone else.
In an eight to four vote, the jury recommended McCloud be put to death.
Taylor-Strachan says it doesn't sit well with her, "that you killed my child, so we can legally kill you," she said, "and for me, it's just going to put him out of his suffering. I prefer that he goes to jail and sit in prison for the rest of his life, and he can suffer that way."
The judge will weigh the jury's recommendation and other information surrounding the case. Taylor-Strachan says she doesn't plan on attending the sentencing in April; going to trial was enough.