Lufkin Police add murder charge against suspect in stabbing death

Richard Taylor (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Richard Taylor (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Shirley Taylor
Shirley Taylor
Shirley Taylor (Source: Evie White)
Shirley Taylor (Source: Evie White)
Shirley Taylor (Source: Evie White)
Shirley Taylor (Source: Evie White)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - In the wake of his alleged victim's death Thursday, the Lufkin Police Department will dismiss the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge against Richard Wayne Taylor, 51. They have issued an arrest warrant for the charge of murder.

KTRE News has obtained the audio of the frantic 911 call by Shirley Ann Taylor's niece, Kavonda Washington.

On the 911 audio, Washington can be heard saying, "Someone just tried to kill my aunt. They try to run over here. No, no, no. He stabbed her. She bleeding in the room. We need an ambulance here now!"

Shirley Taylor, 67, died as a result of her injuries shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Medical Center in Lufkin.

"An autopsy, schedule for today in Beaumont, will determine the number and type of injuries, as well as determine the cause of death," said Det. J.B. Smith, an LPD spokesman.  "Lufkin Police Department does not expect to receive the autopsy results for several weeks."

The stabbing assault occurred at approximately 1:15 p.m. Thursday, according to a press release from the Lufkin Police Department. The incident occurred in the bedroom of the victim's residence at the Ministry in Action Living Center located at 910 Kurth Drive.

According to the arrest affidavit, the 911 caller stated that Shirley Jackson had been stabbed by "Ricky Taylor." The victim told the responding Lufkin Police officer the same thing.

The first LPD officer on the scene noticed that Shirley Taylor had multiple, bleeding stab wounds to her body.

[The victim] had an injury to the right side of her abdomen with what appeared to be her organs protruding from the injury," the affidavit stated. "The victim had additional bleeding injuries to her hand, arm, and back."

A search of the residence turned up a knife with blood on it, according to the affidavit.

A witness at the scene told Lufkin Police officers that she had seen Richard Taylor, Shirley's husband, fleeing the scene in a green Dodge Intrepid.

After the stabbing, Shirley Taylor was rushed to Memorial Medical Center in Lufkin, where surgery was performed in an effort to save her life.

According to Smith, information collected during the initial investigation led officers to believe that Richard Taylor was headed to Corrigan. As it turns out, Corrigan is where Richard Taylor was arrested.

Lt. Jerry Grissom of the Corrigan Police Department said in a previous East Texas News story that his officers acted on a tip. They were able to locate Richard Wayne Taylor about a mile south of Corrigan on U.S. Highway 59 south. Taylor was walking south when they found him, and Grison said they believe the stabbing suspect ditched his car in Diboll and walked to Corrigan.

Taylor went into a Corrigan store and bought a change of clothes before continuing on his way, Grison said.

Grison said Taylor didn't try to resist the Corrigan officers who arrested him; he simply told them that he wanted to talk to his lawyer.

Corrigan Police officers arrested Richard Wayne Taylor around 5 p.m. He was transported to the Angelina County Jail Thursday night.

Further investigation revealed that Richard Taylor was on parole when he allegedly stabbed his wife. Jason Clark, the public information director for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said that Richard Taylor was released on parole on July 29.

Assistant Angelina County District Attorney Layne Thompson said it is a tricky situation.

"It's just a case by case situation, but certainly, if someone's prior pen trips, that is something we want to emphasize to the jury or take into consideration during any plea bargain," Thompson said.

During a court hearing Friday, Richard Taylor's defense attorney, John Tunnell, would not comment on the case. Richard Taylor declined to comment as well.

TDCJ records indicate that Richard Taylor has five felony convictions on his record. The most recent one was an aggravated assault out of Houston County. For that crime, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Richard Taylor was also convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon, aggravated assault, and aggravated assault with a deadly in Angelina County on April 1, 1992. He received three concurrent 10-year sentences, meaning that he served them at the same time, for those charges.

On Nov. 17, 1987, Richard Taylor was convicted in Harris County for aggravated sexual assault of a 25-year-woman. He received an 8-year sentence for that felony, according to TDCJ records.

"She didn't deserve what happened," said Evie White, Shirley Taylor's younger sister.

She says her older sister had been married to Taylor for the past decade. She says the stabbing suspect had been serving a prison sentence for most of their marriage.

"He just got out," White said. "He hadn't been out three months."

Family members say Taylor lived alone on Kurth Drive.

Management says Taylor has been a resident at the living center for the past six years. Her sister  she said most likely she was getting ready for an annual Halloween festivity before the incident took place inside.

"And usually every year she wins best dressed because she always loved to dress up like a kid," White said "It was just a fun time for her on Halloween."

LPD spokesman JB smith says a family member was at the living center residence when she heard her aunt scream that her husband was trying to kill her.
"She stayed at home and didn't bother anyone," Cassandra Swindle said. "I'm just praying because stuff like this….it's praying time now."

White says she's going to miss her sister coming over and calling her every day.

Taylor was actively involved in her Lufkin church. Family members say they will rely on their faith during this time.

"There's a deep hole in our heart because her smile just gave you joy," Swindle said. No matter what she going through or up against when she came she would always have a smile on her face."

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