Photographer Pleads Guilty to Taylor Summers Murder
Frederick pled guilty to one count of third-degree murder and a variety of other charges in a plea bargain that requires him to testify against former assistant Jennifer Mitkus, also charged in connection with Summers’ murder,
Summers, whose real name was Natel King, was reported missing following a photo shoot she had scheduled with Frederick in Feb. 2004. Her body was discovered three weeks later in ravine, her mouth stuffed with a ball-gag used in the bondage photo shoot with Frederick and her body covered in a backdrop that appeared in the photos.
According to documents released by the district attorney’s office, Frederick initially denied the murder and later admitted in an interview with police to murdering Summers as Mitkus watched, and then Mitkus cleaned up the bloody floor and helped with the disposal of the body.
Prosecutors and friends speculated that Summers might have been murdered as part of a “snuff” film, but Montogomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor said recently that Frederick told law enforcement officials that Summers had been killed as part of a financial dispute.
According to Castor, Frederick said that he had killed Summers in self defense after she threatened him with a hunting knife upon learning that he couldn’t pay her for the shoot.
Frederick had been charged with first-degree murder, but Castor agreed to a lesser charge after visiting with Summers’ family.
In exchange for his plea, Fredericks is expected to testify against Mitkus, who had nine additional charges filed against her in mid-February. Mitkus now stands accused of hindering apprehension, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.
Frederick faces a sentence of up to 51 years in prison for the offense
“I expect the judge will sentence him to what is effectively a life term, but of course there is always the possibility that he might be paroled when he is in his 80s and a decrepit old man,” Castor said.