Memphis Police: Dropped cellphone, series of phone calls lands man behind bars for murder


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A few phone calls are all it took to point Memphis Police investigators in the direction they needed to go to find a murder suspect.

Taylor “Kano” Clayborn was charged with first-degree murder in perpetration of aggravated burglary, especially aggravated burglary and attempted aggravated robbery after police say he was involved in a shooting in the 1200 block of Robin Hood Lane on June 22.

The victim in the case told investigators he was in his driveway when two armed men approached and demanded his keys. As one suspect stayed with him, the other went around the back of the home and that’s when a shot was fired. Victim Dawn Rainey was shot and died sometime later at St. Francis Hospital.

After the shooting, one of the suspects dropped his cell phone before jumping into a gray Dodge Avenger, police said. That vehicle was located on July 1, at the home of a woman with whom the surviving victim had a verbal altercation with mere days before the homicide regarding a theft.

That woman, who will remain unidentified until formal charges are filed, told police she didn’t know who was driving it that night. However, her phone records showed that she had called the cellphone that was dropped at the crime scene mere minutes before the homicide.

Police said that cellphone belonged to Clayborn. He told authorities he didn’t know the woman, but had talked to her on the phone and via Facebook.

Documents showed about three hours after the shooting, Clayborn got three more calls from the same woman. In fact, investigators said the phone records indicated the pair spoke with each other multiple times after the shooting.

MPD said Clayborn bought a new phone with the same number the very next morning, and the first person he called before abruptly leaving to go live in Nashville was the woman.

The woman claimed she only spoke with the Clayborn once.

WREG went back out to the neighborhood and briefly spoke to the surviving victim. He didn’t want to talk for his own safety but said he’s concerned about the violence taking place in his own community. 

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