Teen denies fatally shooting store clerk

Olanda Taylor, 18, claims innocence in jailhouse interview

SAN ANTONIO – One of two teens charged in the fatal shooting of a store clerk is claiming his innocence despite police saying he admitted to the crime.

In an arrest affidavit, police said Olanda Taylor "admitted to entering the Diamond Food Mart to rob the location and shooting (Zachary Benavidez)."

But in a jailhouse interview Wednesday, Taylor said the detective "kept harassing" him in the interview.

"The detective kept harassing me in the interview room. I told her I (didn't) do it. She kept harassing me. I told her I (didn't) do it. She kept harassing me," Taylor said. "And I said, 'OK, I did it.' And they took me down to booking. That was it."

Those few words could help get him the death penalty if he is convicted.

Taylor and D'Anthony Carter, both 18, each face a capital murder charge for Benavidez's death. The 23-year-old clerk was working June 7 at the Diamond Food Mart on Vance Jackson when police said Taylor and Carter came into the store armed with handguns.


One of them hit Benavidez's head with a gun after he didn't open the register. The two struggled, and Taylor shot Benavidez multiple times, according to the affidavit. A customer was shot in the leg.

Police said the two wore the same clothes in the Diamond Food Mart shooting and in a robbery at a Metro PCS store hours earlier. Taylor was arrested June 10 after the New Braunfels Police Department identified him from surveillance images at the Metro PCS store.

Taylor denies committing either crime.

"Until they can scientifically prove that I did it, I didn't do it," he said.

Meanwhile, Benavidez's father has told KSAT 12 News that he wants Taylor and Carter to get the death penalty.

"To daddy, I don't know what you talking about, you wish I get the death penalty," Taylor said. "Man, I (have) been to hell and back already, and this ain't nothing new."

Shown a picture of Benavidez, Taylor claimed not to know him apart from being "on the news."


While police said Taylor identified Carter as the man with him at the Diamond Food Mart and the one who shot the customer, Taylor claims he's never heard the name.

About the Authors: