Suspect in near-campus murder heads to court

Dec. 20 – Neil Gardner, the leading suspect in a murder that happened at 11th and Norris Streets on Nov. 29, was in court yesterday.

A warrant was issued on Dec. 8 charging Gardner, 30, principally with the murder of Raheen Taylor, in addition to a host of related weapons crimes. He surrendered to homicide detectives on Dec. 11, accompanied by his attorney.

Details of yesterday’s preliminary hearing, which would have included bail and a date for future court appearances, were not immediately available. His trial is pending.

The murder, to which Temple University police responded, was not included in the university’s daily crime report. The Jeanne Clery Act, federal legislation enacted in 1990 that sets standards for university disclosure of campus crime statistics, does not require Temple to include this murder in its annual report, according to Carl Bittenbender, executive director of Campus Safety.

Temple’s Parking Lot 7, which abuts the Engineering and Architecture building, is within sight of the entire 2000 block of North 11th Street, where Temple police responded at 4:30pm Nov. 29. When they arrived, Taylor was brought to Temple Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:03pm.

Flowers and stuffed animals were displayed outside of the Norris Homes in the days following the murder, though Taylor was a resident of the 1900 block of North 32nd Street, near Berks.

Christopher Wink can be reached at

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