Witnesses testified that Deal shot Taylor in the face with a handgun while Taylor was sitting on the couch "without a visible weapon of any kind," according to the Etowah County District Attorney's office.
Deal's defense attorneys argued that Deal shot Taylor in self-defense. In court, Deal testified that Taylor was "about to attack him with a concealed knife," a release from the D.A.'s office stated.
An Etowah County jury found Deal guilty of Taylor's murder in May 2012. Etowah County Circuit Judge Allen Millican sentenced him to life imprisonment on Thursday, June 21. The D.A.'s office says Deal was a habitual felony offender whose record included at least seven previous felony convictions.