Sentence handed down in Oliver trial

Corey Oliver will spend the rest of his life in prison. The Nottoway County resident learned his fate on Monday, April 8, when sentencing took place in his murder trial. Earlier this year, Oliver was tried and found guilty of first degree murder, attempted first degree murder and arson of an occupied dwelling. All of this was tied to the death of his grandmother, Janet Taylor and injuries to his aunt, Tonya Taylor, back on Oct. 27, 2022. 

According to the evidence presented at trial, during that period, Oliver was living with his aunt and grandmother at their home on Lewiston Plank Road in the Burkeville area. In the early hours of Oct. 27, Oliver used kerosene to start a fire in the living room of the residence. He then left the residence but was found still on the property when law enforcement arrived. 

At the sentencing hearing on April 8, Oliver was sentenced by Judge Joseph M. Teefey Jr. to life in prison for the first degree murder conviction, 30 years in prison for the arson of an occupied dwelling conviction, and 10 years in prison for the attempted 1st degree murder conviction, for a total active sentence of life in prison plus 40 years. 

DETAILS OF THE CASE 

Based on what came out at trial, Tonya and Janet were inside the home when it caught fire. Tonya reported smelling smoke while in her room, then opening the door to see the living room was full of dark smoke. Unable to leave her room, she called 911 and then tried to get out through a window. When Nottoway sheriff’s deputies arrived, they helped her out of the window. 

Janet, meanwhile, was removed from her bed through the window by members of the Burkeville Fire Department. Unfortunately, the 76-year-old had died in her bed due to smoke inhalation. As a result, Oliver was found guilty of first degree murder, attempted first degree murder and arson.