James Taylor, who was found guilty in September of molesting his 11-year-old daughter at the end of his third trial on the same charge, was sentenced to life in prison this morning in Bunnell.
The mandatory sentence was expected. Circuit Judge Terence Perkins had no choice because Taylor is a previously convicted felon several times over, and the victim at the time of the offense was younger than 12. The defense had argued that he was being framed by the victim and her sister, who wanted him out of the house.
The girl accused Taylor of entering her room at night and rubbing her chest area over her clothes.
Assistant Public Defender Regina Nunnally, who has already filed an appeal on behalf of Taylor, 42, argued that the prosecution introduced allegations of previous incidents that had taken place in Gainesville and that “overshadowed the issue of the one touch allegation,” prejudicing the jury against Taylor.
The attorney argued, correctly, that the victim never testified to having been touched explicitly on the breast or breasts, while the instructions to the jury specified that it had to find that she had been. (The instructions stated that to prove lewed or lascivious molestation, the charge Taylor faced, the jury had to find that he “intentionally touched the breast or the the clothing covering them [sic.]” of the child.)
The jury could have found him guilty of lesser charges, such as attempted molestation or battery, but opted in a matter of minutes–it was in and out of the deliberation room in 35 minutes–to find him guilty on the most serious charge.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Melissa Clark.
“The defendant is a six-time convicted felon, including a previous sex crime involving a child victim,” State Attorney R. J. Larizza said of Taylor. “Within two years of being released from prison, the defendant perpetrated another sex crime with a different child Victim. This latest case underscores the necessity for him to be in prison for the rest of his life. The community is safer as a result of the defendant being behind bars.”
See “James Taylor Found Guilty, Again, of Molesting His Step-Daughter.”
Reading the reporting seems there is much to be questioned about how to jury reached a guilty verdict let alone the speed in which it was reached. There is apparently nothing but “he said / she said” for actions that may or may not have taken place 6 years ago.
I’m all for locking offenders but what happened to the notion of reasonable doubt? Past history aside, it would take me a lot longer that 35 minutes to decide a person was guilty of a crime that would send him to prison for the rest of his life. Seems like he may have been pre-judged based on Judge Dennis Craig display of incompetence in the previous trial. Unfortunate.
Preaching to the Choir. This career, already convicted of the same crime to the same victim, low life wasnt worthy of the verdict rendered. Of coures you can always pay for his imminent Appeal if you care to LOL Let him rot.He is where he belongs a long time ago.
He will not fare well in prison unless he is isolated from the rest of the population.
this is one of the rare occasions in flagler where the criminal got what he deserved
James Taylor: “Oh I’ve seen fire, and I’ve seen rain – now I’m never gonna see the sun again.”
Weldon Ryan says
Talk about prejucicial!!! Leave it to a Florida jury to convict a person of color on flimsie testimony. He’s ceertainly no saint but everyone has a right to a fair trial.
I don’t think race had anything to do with a “flimsy” testimony. I’d say the fact that he was a six time convicted felon with previous sex crimes with a minor on his record made the “flimsy” testimony all the more believable. Given the choice, I would believe an innocent 11/12 year old girl over a 42 year old felon. Either way, he’ll get his appeal.