Rickey Earl Taylor Jr.

Man indicted in Cobb beating death faces new charges

A man accused of tying up a Cobb County man inside his apartment and beating him to death has been indicted on more charges related to the July 2016 homicide. 

A Cobb County grand jury on June 20 indicted Rickey Earl Taylor Jr. on one count each of felony murder and robbery by force in the death of Richard Bell, who was found dead July 8, 2016, in his bed at Lincoln Hills Apartments on Windcliff Drive in Marietta. 

The two new charges were added to the June 2017 indictment that initially charged Taylor with one count each of malice murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment and two counts of felony murder. 

Taylor, 31, is also the man Gwinnett County police have charged with the double homicide of 61-year-old Nicola Sramek and her son James Sramek, 26. Police in that jurisdiction say the victims were stabbed and beaten

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An arrest warrant obtained by Cobb police did shed a little light on Taylor’s alleged actions. Bell’s hands and feet were bound behind his body, and he was allegedly bludgeoned to death by Taylor with a “heavy, linear object,” the warrant states. 

The June 20 indictment charging Taylor with robbery by force alleges he also took a cell phone and computer belonging to Bell. He remains held without bond at the Cobb County Jail. 

A search of Cobb County Superior Court records indicate that an arraignment hearing has not been scheduled for Taylor. Prosecutors with the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office did file a notice that they will use Taylor’s past criminal convictions in their sentencing recommendations if he is convicted.

Gwinnett Chief Assistant District Attorney Dan Mayfield said his counterparts in Cobb hope to start Taylor’s murder trial on Aug. 12 or Aug. 19. He said he expects that trial will last less than two weeks since prosecutors aren’t seeking the death penalty.

Taylor’s death penalty trial in Gwinnett for the Sramek double homicide is set to begin Sept. 16 and will last 5 to 10 weeks, Mayfield said. 

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