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Police: Midstate teen says he killed his mom, then watched TV

Written by Merriell Moyer and John Latimer/Lebanon Daily News | Jun 7, 2016 6:37 AM
Jacob-Taliaferro.jpg

Jacob Taliaferro, 17, has been charged for killing his mother, Lorrie Ann Demko, by stabbing her in the chest and then strangling her with a rope in their Palmyra home early Monday morning. (Photo: Courtesy Lebanon County Correcti)

Jacob Taliaferro called 9-1-1 after stabbing his mother, according to police.

(Palmyra) --  A 17-year-old Palmyra boy has been arrested for killing his mother early Monday.

Jacob Taliaferro has been charged with criminal homicide in the murder of Lorrie Ann Demko at their home at 805 E. Cypress St., according to the Office of the Lebanon County District Attorney.

After stabbing his mother with a kitchen knife, Taliaferro told investigators he strangled her to death with a piece of rope. After checking for a pulse and finding none, he said he watched TV for an unspecified time, took a shower then called 9-1-1.

Shortly before 5 a.m. Monday, Taliaferro called Lebanon County Emergency Management Agency and told the dispatcher that he had killed his mother with a kitchen knife, according to the criminal complaint filed by Palmyra Borough Police Department. He further told the dispatcher she had been dead for a while and that he wanted to turn himself in.

When police assisting from North Londonderry Township arrived a short time later, Taliaferro was still on the phone with the dispatcher. The officer told the dispatcher to instruct the teen to exit the house through the front door.

As the officers approached the house, Taliaferro walked out, still talking on the telephone, and complied with commands to show his hands and lay face down on the ground, according to the complaint.

When police searched the house they found blood on the carpet near the kitchen and in a hallway leading back to a bedroom, where Demko was found with a large laceration on her chest.  Dried blood was found on her torso and the floor next to her. When officers checked her pulse they found none.

After being taken into custody, Taliaferro was questioned by a Lebanon County detective about 7:45 a.m. After being read his Miranda Warning and agreeing to speak, he told the detective that he stabbed his mother with a kitchen knife, which was later found in the sink.

Neighbors were stunned to learn that Taliaferro murdered his mother.

"I was shocked when I heard about this," Paul Garber, of 808 E. Cypress St., said. "It really took me off guard."

"This was a surprise to me," Chris Bailey-Wolfe, of 817 E. Cypress St., said. "We saw the police and investigators going in and out of the house, so I knew it was a crime scene."

Bailey-Wolfe said she knew Taliaferro and his mother well, and that her children used to play together frequently with Jacob and his older brother and sister, both of whom still live at their mother's home, according to Bailey-Wolfe.

"The last time we hung out - Jake must have been 14 or 15 years old at that time - he seemed like an average teenager," Bailey-Wolfe said.

A resident who lives on the corner of Prince and Cypress streets who wished to remain unnamed had a different opinion.

"Jacob had a lot of emotional issues," the resident said. "His mother told us he had emotional problems when he was younger. He was definitely different."

However, neither Garber nor Bailey-Wolfe were aware of any such emotional problems.

"He was maybe a little slower than other kids, but if so it was very mild," Garber said. "We didn't know him that well, really, but I still never would have expected anything like that from him."

"I didn't hear of any problems there," Bailey-Wolfe said. "Lorrie was a single parent raising three children, and being single and raising three kids would have to be hard. Those may have been the problems she was referring to."

Bailey-Wolfe had nothing but good things to say about Lorrie Ann Demko.

"Lorrie was an amazing woman who would have done anything for anybody," Bailey-Wolfe said. "My daughter used to hang out with her sometimes and they would do each other's nails and stuff, and all the kids on the street would go swimming at her house during the summer. She was like the Mother of the Year for this street."

Taliaferro was arraigned as an adult before District Judge Anthony Verna. No bail was set, and Taliaferro was transported to the Lebanon County Correctional Facility.

This is the second murder in Lebanon County this year.

*This article is part of a content-sharing partnership between WITF and the Lebanon Daily News

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