Lufkin man gets life in prison in for stabbing, killing wife - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lufkin man gets life in prison in for stabbing, killing wife

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Richard Taylor (Source: Angelina County Jail) Richard Taylor (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Shirley Taylor (Source: Evie White) Shirley Taylor (Source: Evie White)
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
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LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

After deliberating for an hour and 45 minutes, and Angelina County jury found Richard Taylor guilty of stabbing his wife to death on Halloween of 2013 Thursday afternoon.

Later Thursday, the jury sentenced Richard Taylor to life in prison.

Earlier in the fourth day of  testimony in the trial, Richard Taylor took the stand in his own defense Thursday.

Richard Taylor is now facing up to 99 years in prison.

Day four of the Richard Taylor murder trial started with the state resting their case immediately after entering the death certificate of Shirley Taylor.

The defense would get the case with Richard Taylor taking the stand.

Richard Taylor told defense attorney Al Charanza that a week before the alleged incident he was fired from his job after getting upset at a nurse and mouthing off. Taylor said he had to have a schedule set up for when he went to his wife’s house to visit Shirley Taylor.

"This [schedule] is provided by my parole office in Nacogdoches," Taylor said. 'I was on parole for an aggravated assault out of Houston County.”

Charanza then showed Taylor a piece of paper that shows a documentation of where Taylor was and what time it was. Carswell objected to the document because she is not sure if it had been authenticated. The judge agreed but let the piece enter based on any information that is personal knowledge.
Taylor then outlined when he could see his wife.

"I was able to see her Monday and Wednesday," Taylor said. "It was called residence work. I would go and help out with whatever she needed. Sometimes I could get additional hours if I called and got it approved."

Taylor said he did visit Shirley the week before. Taylor said the Sunday before she died, he went to church with her.

"She went to Mt. Pleasant Church in Cedar Grove," Taylor said. "Her sister brought her to my house, and I took her to church, and I joined that day."

Taylor said he stayed home that Sunday after church because Shirley had his car and was driving around.

Taylor said an earlier argument brought up in the trial between him and Shirley at the home of her sister Evie White is untrue because he was at his home since Shirley had his car and was driving around.

"Early that morning, shortly after 9 [a.m.] I received a call from my wife at her home," Taylor said. "I only had two minutes on my phone, so I said call me back on the land line. She did and said she was not feeling good, so could I call the parole officer and ask if I could come over and help? Once [parole] game me permission, I went to M and B Food Store and then drove to my wife’s residence. When I first turned into the apartment entrance, I saw something unusual. I saw the storm door cracked."

Richard Taylor said he questioned her about the doors and then checked to see how she was doing. Richard Taylor said he made her scrambled eggs after she asked him to and then rubbed cream on her feet.

Taylor said two women came by and talked to her than left, and that’s when Shirley’s niece and care taker Kavonda Washington showed up at 11 a.m.

"Kavonda never left. When she got there she stayed there,” Taylor said. "I left around 12:50 p.m."

Taylor said while he was there, he and Shirley went outside and walked outside.

"We walked until she got tired," Taylor said.

Richard Taylor said he left because he was on his way to Houston so he could go to his uncle’s home to get another vehicle.

"Mine had mechanical problems," Richard Taylor said. "When I bought my old vehicle, I was told it needed a gasket fixed, but I never did. My purpose of picking up the vehicle was to bring it back and get my wife and take her to Houston, so she could be placed on a liver transplant."

Richard Taylor said when he left the home, he saw someone get out of a dark blue Chrysler.

"He had a bed spread in his hand and was talking to my wife," Richard Taylor said.

"After she waved to me and acknowledged who these people are, I went down Kurth Drive to Timberland Drive, and as I got to Angelina College, I started to experience problems," Richard Taylor said.

Richard Taylor said he pulled his car over by Angelina College because it was getting hot. Richard Taylor then said he went into the bushes to use the restroom, and he was scratched by thorns on the way out. Richard Taylor said once he got to Diboll, he knew the vehicle was not good, so he turned onto Thompson and that’s where the car broke down.

"I opened up the hood and the reservoir and that’s when I got water all on my clothes," Richard Taylor said.

Richard Taylor said he was approached by a white male and he asked for someone to give him a ride to Lufkin and he said he could only get him south to Corrigan. Richard Taylor said he went to Corrigan and then went to a store and bought clothes because he was wet and cold.

"I then walked 59 South in Corrigan, and sometime around 5 p.m., Lt Grisham turned around and drove to me and bumped his horn," Taylor said. “I IDed myself and gave him a copy of my license. He said, ‘you are under arrest for aggravated assault,’ and that’s all he said."

Richard Taylor said he requested an attorney before he was magistrated.

Richard Taylor said he then had a causal conversation with Detective Jamie Jinkins about what he did in life and then he was taken over to the county jail.

Richard Taylor told Charanza that his regular schedule to be at the home was Wednesday and Monday. Richard Taylor said he was never at Shirley’s home on a Tuesday which was brought up earlier.

Richard Taylor said on October 30, he went to Express Employment to try to find employment.

"I did not kill my wife, Shirley Ann Taylor,' Richard Taylor said. "I loved her too much to do that. I did not kill my wife. The last time I saw her, she was outside, alive, waving goodbye to me. I did not kill my wife."

During the fourth day of the ongoing murder trial for Lufkin man who is accused of fatally stabbing his wife to death on Halloween of 2013 the state rested, and Richard Taylor took the stand in his own defense Thursday.

If Richard Taylor is found guilty, he could face up to 99 years in prison.

Day four of the Richard Taylor murder trial started with the state resting their case immediately after entering the death certificate of Shirley Taylor.

The defense would get the case with Richard Taylor taking the stand.

Richard Taylor told defense attorney Al Charanza that a week before the alleged incident he was fired from his job after getting upset at a nurse and mouthing off. Taylor said he had to have a schedule set up for when he went to his wife’s house to visit Shirley Taylor.

"This [schedule] is provided by my parole office in Nacogdoches," Taylor said. 'I was on parole for an aggravated assault out of Houston County.”

Charanza then showed Taylor a piece of paper that shows a documentation of where Taylor was and what time it was. Carswell objected to the document because she is not sure if it had been authenticated. The judge agreed but let the piece enter based on any information that is personal knowledge.
Taylor then outlined when he could see his wife.

"I was able to see her Monday and Wednesday," Taylor said. "It was called residence work. I would go and help out with whatever she needed. Sometimes I could get additional hours if I called and got it approved."

Taylor said he did visit Shirley the week before. Taylor said the Sunday before she died, he went to church with her.

"She went to Mt. Pleasant Church in Cedar Grove," Taylor said. "Her sister brought her to my house, and I took her to church, and I joined that day."

Taylor said he stayed home that Sunday after church because Shirley had his car and was driving around.

Taylor said an earlier argument brought up in the trial between him and Shirley at the home of her sister Evie White is untrue because he was at his home since Shirley had his car and was driving around.

"Early that morning, shortly after 9 [a.m.] I received a call from my wife at her home," Taylor said. "I only had two minutes on my phone, so I said call me back on the land line. She did and said she was not feeling good, so could I call the parole officer and ask if I could come over and help? Once [parole] game me permission, I went to M and B Food Store and then drove to my wife’s residence. When I first turned into the apartment entrance, I saw something unusual. I saw the storm door cracked."

Richard Taylor said he questioned her about the doors and then checked to see how she was doing. Richard Taylor said he made her scrambled eggs after she asked him to and then rubbed cream on her feet.

Taylor said two women came by and talked to her than left, and that’s when Shirley’s niece and care taker Kavonda Washington showed up at 11 a.m.

"Kavonda never left. When she got there she stayed there,” Taylor said. "I left around 12:50 p.m."

Taylor said while he was there, he and Shirley went outside and walked outside.

"We walked until she got tired," Taylor said.

Richard Taylor said he left because he was on his way to Houston so he could go to his uncle’s home to get another vehicle.

"Mine had mechanical problems," Richard Taylor said. "When I bought my old vehicle, I was told it needed a gasket fixed, but I never did. My purpose of picking up the vehicle was to bring it back and get my wife and take her to Houston, so she could be placed on a liver transplant."

Richard Taylor said when he left the home, he saw someone get out of a dark blue Chrysler.

"He had a bed spread in his hand and was talking to my wife," Richard Taylor said.

"After she waved to me and acknowledged who these people are, I went down Kurth Drive to Timberland Drive, and as I got to Angelina College, I started to experience problems," Richard Taylor said.

Richard Taylor said he pulled his car over by Angelina College because it was getting hot. Richard Taylor then said he went into the bushes to use the restroom, and he was scratched by thorns on the way out. Richard Taylor said once he got to Diboll, he knew the vehicle was not good, so he turned onto Thompson and that’s where the car broke down.

"I opened up the hood and the reservoir and that’s when I got water all on my clothes," Richard Taylor said.

Richard Taylor said he was approached by a white male and he asked for someone to give him a ride to Lufkin and he said he could only get him south to Corrigan. Richard Taylor said he went to Corrigan and then went to a store and bought clothes because he was wet and cold.

"I then walked 59 South in Corrigan, and sometime around 5 p.m., Lt Grisham turned around and drove to me and bumped his horn," Taylor said. “I IDed myself and gave him a copy of my license. He said, ‘you are under arrest for aggravated assault,’ and that’s all he said."

Richard Taylor said he requested an attorney before he was magistrated.

Richard Taylor said he then had a causal conversation with Detective Jamie Jinkins about what he did in life and then he was taken over to the county jail.

Richard Taylor told Charanza that his regular schedule to be at the home was Wednesday and Monday. Richard Taylor said he was never at Shirley’s home on a Tuesday which was brought up earlier.

Richard Taylor said on October 30, he went to Express Employment to try to find employment.

"I did not kill my wife, Shirley Ann Taylor,' Richard Taylor said. "I loved her too much to do that. I did not kill my wife. The last time I saw her, she was outside, alive, waving goodbye to me. I did not kill my wife."

During the fourth day of the ongoing murder trial for Lufkin man who is accused of fatally stabbing his wife to death on Halloween of 2013 the state rested, and Richard Taylor took the stand in his own defense Thursday.

If Richard Taylor is found guilty, he could face up to 99 years in prison.

Day four of the Richard Taylor murder trial started with the state resting their case immediately after entering the death certificate of Shirley Taylor.

The defense would get the case with Richard Taylor taking the stand.

Richard Taylor told defense attorney Al Charanza that a week before the alleged incident he was fired from his job after getting upset at a nurse and mouthing off. Taylor said he had to have a schedule set up for when he went to his wife’s house to visit Shirley Taylor.

"This [schedule] is provided by my parole office in Nacogdoches," Taylor said. 'I was on parole for an aggravated assault out of Houston County.”

Charanza then showed Taylor a piece of paper that shows a documentation of where Taylor was and what time it was. Carswell objected to the document because she is not sure if it had been authenticated. The judge agreed but let the piece enter based on any information that is personal knowledge.
Taylor then outlined when he could see his wife.

"I was able to see her Monday and Wednesday," Taylor said. "It was called residence work. I would go and help out with whatever she needed. Sometimes I could get additional hours if I called and got it approved."

Taylor said he did visit Shirley the week before. Taylor said the Sunday before she died, he went to church with her.

"She went to Mt. Pleasant Church in Cedar Grove," Taylor said. "Her sister brought her to my house, and I took her to church, and I joined that day."

Taylor said he stayed home that Sunday after church because Shirley had his car and was driving around.

Taylor said an earlier argument brought up in the trial between him and Shirley at the home of her sister Evie White is untrue because he was at his home since Shirley had his car and was driving around.

"Early that morning, shortly after 9 [a.m.] I received a call from my wife at her home," Taylor said. "I only had two minutes on my phone, so I said call me back on the land line. She did and said she was not feeling good, so could I call the parole officer and ask if I could come over and help? Once [parole] game me permission, I went to M and B Food Store and then drove to my wife’s residence. When I first turned into the apartment entrance, I saw something unusual. I saw the storm door cracked."

Richard Taylor said he questioned her about the doors and then checked to see how she was doing. Richard Taylor said he made her scrambled eggs after she asked him to and then rubbed cream on her feet.

Taylor said two women came by and talked to her than left, and that’s when Shirley’s niece and care taker Kavonda Washington showed up at 11 a.m.

"Kavonda never left. When she got there she stayed there,” Taylor said. "I left around 12:50 p.m."

Taylor said while he was there, he and Shirley went outside and walked outside.

"We walked until she got tired," Taylor said.

Richard Taylor said he left because he was on his way to Houston so he could go to his uncle’s home to get another vehicle.

"Mine had mechanical problems," Richard Taylor said. "When I bought my old vehicle, I was told it needed a gasket fixed, but I never did. My purpose of picking up the vehicle was to bring it back and get my wife and take her to Houston, so she could be placed on a liver transplant."

Richard Taylor said when he left the home, he saw someone get out of a dark blue Chrysler.

"He had a bed spread in his hand and was talking to my wife," Richard Taylor said.

"After she waved to me and acknowledged who these people are, I went down Kurth Drive to Timberland Drive, and as I got to Angelina College, I started to experience problems," Richard Taylor said.

Richard Taylor said he pulled his car over by Angelina College because it was getting hot. Richard Taylor then said he went into the bushes to use the restroom, and he was scratched by thorns on the way out. Richard Taylor said once he got to Diboll, he knew the vehicle was not good, so he turned onto Thompson and that’s where the car broke down.

"I opened up the hood and the reservoir and that’s when I got water all on my clothes," Richard Taylor said.

Richard Taylor said he was approached by a white male and he asked for someone to give him a ride to Lufkin and he said he could only get him south to Corrigan. Richard Taylor said he went to Corrigan and then went to a store and bought clothes because he was wet and cold.

"I then walked 59 South in Corrigan, and sometime around 5 p.m., Lt Grisham turned around and drove to me and bumped his horn," Taylor said. “I IDed myself and gave him a copy of my license. He said, ‘you are under arrest for aggravated assault,’ and that’s all he said."

Richard Taylor said he requested an attorney before he was magistrated.

Richard Taylor said he then had a causal conversation with Detective Jamie Jinkins about what he did in life and then he was taken over to the county jail.

Richard Taylor told Charanza that his regular schedule to be at the home was Wednesday and Monday. Richard Taylor said he was never at Shirley’s home on a Tuesday which was brought up earlier.

Richard Taylor said on October 30, he went to Express Employment to try to find employment.

"I did not kill my wife, Shirley Ann Taylor,' Richard Taylor said. "I loved her too much to do that. I did not kill my wife. The last time I saw her, she was outside, alive, waving goodbye to me. I did not kill my wife."

Richard Taylor then told Carswell that he met his wife in the 80s when they worked at Pilgrim’s Pride.

Richard Taylor said from 2005 to 2013, he did not live in the same house with her. Richard Taylor said he did not have any physical contact with Shirley Taylor other than sexual relations.

Carswell questioned Richard Taylor about the monitoring bracelet that he had on. Carswell asked about how the monitoring worked, and Richard Taylor said he was not sure how it happened. Taylor said he cannot tell them if it was a live tracking system.

Richard Taylor said he was not allowed to consume alcohol, but if he did he would tell his parole officer. Richard Taylor said on October 31 he did not have any alcohol that day, which contradicted earlier testimony by Kavonda Washington.

Richard Taylor told Carswell that he was not allowed to stay at her apartment overnight, but at the end of August to the beginning of September, he did stay at her home. Richard Taylor said that it was Shirley Taylor’s idea to be put on a transplant list, and she told him that on October 31. Richard Taylor said on October 31, the two discussed it.

Carswell asked why Richard Taylor kept going south towards Houston instead of just heading back to Lufkin and calling it a day.

"Because hitch hiking is against the law," Richard Taylor said. "A gentlemen offered me a ride but said he is only going south."

Carswell asked if Richard Taylor ever spoke to the mystery male that was talking to Shirley as he left.

"No, ma’am I did not," Richard Taylor said. "I did not recognize him."

Carswell asked how he got scratches on his back and neck.

"I was in the bushes, so I was not out in the road and I got scratched in the woods," Richard Taylor. "I did not decide to go get scratched, I went to urinate."

Richard Taylor told Carswell it was the only place to go despite her asking about a McDonalds and gas station within walking distance from where he was.

During his time on the stand, Carswell asked Richard Taylor about his previous run-ins with the law. When she brought up that he had been convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in 1988, Richard Taylor clarified what he had been charged with.

"No, I am not," Richard Taylor said. "I was convicted on that date, but it was not agg assault with a deadly weapon because there was no deadly weapon."

At further questions from Carswell, Richard Taylor also admitted to being convicted of aggravated sexual assault in Harris County in 1987, aggravated assault in 1992, and aggravated assault in Houston County in 2001.

"On the day Shirley was murdered, you cut off your ankle monitor, didn’t you?" Carswell said.

"No, I did not," Richard Taylor said.

Richard Taylor said it was not on him when he was turned into authorities.

Richard Taylor claimed that he was not the Richard Shirley was talking about when police asked her who did it to her.

"I am not the only black male Richard she dated," Richard Taylor said.

Richard Taylor told Charanza there was another black male named Richard years earlier that she dated. Richard Taylor also said there was another male name Richard that lived at the Ministry in Action Apartments.

Richard Taylor said in August he was on the phone with her, and it appeared that another male entered the apartment against her will and she seemed disturbed.

"I called 911 and explained to the dispatcher that I was not able to be there, so I told them that," Taylor said.

Carswell argued the 911 call statement he made was not true because documents show that Taylor said he called because he thought she had taken too much insulin.

In closing arguments, Carswell said she told the jury about Shirley in the opening and now will close out with information about Richard.

“We learned that Richard was jealous,” Carswell said. “We learned that Evie White had to ask them both to leave, ask her own sister to leave because she felt uncomfortable.”

Carswell brought up how he was fired from Pilgrim’s Pride because he got angry at a nurse and was called into human resources. Carswell also brought up the multiple convictions and his violent past.

“What’s more important is that we have two eyewitnesses that said they saw him fleeing out of the back room,” Carswell said. “We also have the audio from the police where she said twice that Richard did it and that they were arguing about Tuesday.”

Tuesday was the day the two agreed to have sex.

“We know he fled the scene and he tried to hide what he looked like,” Carswell said.  “He had on three sets of clothes at some point. All indicate to you a desperate attempt by this man to escape to Houston so no one could find him.”

Carswell said there was limitations to present evidence to the lab and that it is a case-by-case basis. Carswell said there were three people that took evidence and two of them had 30 years of experience.

“The two made a decision to not send fingerprints because as you heard it’s not like it is on TV,” Carswell said. “They made a collective decision to think about the location of the evidence. They had no reason to believe the defendant was cut so there was no need to grab blood. They grabbed the knife because of its strange setting in the sink. It was just in case, that’s because it’s what they do. “

Carswell said the knife had nothing and it is probably because it was not the weapon. Carswell said the jury knows that she was ill and her stomach hurt a lot and then pointed out three major wounds were to that area.

“We all know that Richard is being called her husband, but I want to take it back," Carswell said. "Marriage carries a sacred bond. In the photographs you can see her bloody hand with her wedding ring. You also have evidence that Richard Taylor was photographed and he didn’t have a wedding ring. He is not deserving.”

Carswell ended with the recording of audio where Shirley Taylor said Richard did it.

Charanza then talked to the jury and said they need to deal with the real evidence.

“You got to put emotion aside sometimes because we are hear to find the killer of Shirley Taylor and Richard Taylor is not the killer,” Charanza said. “That’s a soft fact. His jewelry was taken when he was put into custody. Let’s look at the facts.”

Charanza brought up that his shoes had no blood on them or the  clothes as well.

“No blood in Taylor’s car, not on the seat, not on the carpet, not on the door handle. No blood on the backpack. You think if he handled it there would be some type of evidence. Do not find someone guilty just because he is on parole.”

Charanza said his first conviction was when he was 25 and he last one 14 years ago.

“Cold hard facts, but that does not make him a convicted murder.”

Charanza said there is no way he could have been there if he left when he said he left. Charanza also said the two eyewitnesses could not have seen him due to the home and what was in the way.

“Oh they saw someone leave, but it wasn’t Richard Taylor. They couldn’t see the face. Someone left and they probably left with their murder weapon.”

Charanza said if Kavonda Washington knew that Taylor was trying to kill her then why not try to get into the room.

“Did Kavonda know what was going on in the room or change her story to make you believe it is Richard Taylor?”

Charanza brought up the fact that a Lufkin Police officer said two years ago that Laddy Washington was so intoxicated that he wouldn’t use him as a witness but two years later he is here.

“It could have been a drug dealer. We saw the medical reports. There was signs of drug use. It could have been another boyfriend. Richard was there until 12:55 and he saw him, but he’s not going to go in until Richard is gone then go in confront her, stab her and then leave.”

Charanza said it is someone in the community that was a jealous man but it is not Richard Taylor.

“She was a very well-liked person,” Charanza said. “She had a lot of family and friends. It was a small community so that’s why I believe it had to be someone that knew they had just a little time to get away.”

Charanza then brought up the police audio.

“This lady is dying,” Charanza said. “She is delusional. She might have been on drugs. She keeps saying Tuesday but we know Richard only goes over on Monday and Wednesday. No we can’t bring her back. We want to know who killed her. Richard Taylor wants to know who killed her.”

Charanza brought up that police do not have a confession.

“When they don’t have that, they have to go find something.”

Charanza said it takes all 12 jurors to make it happen.

“It is a very serious charge and we want to find the killer, but Richard is not that man. He cannot be at two places at once.”

Carswell then continued her closing statements.

Carswell argued that Taylor would have had very little blood because the police had very little blood.

“We had a potential murder weapon and you can write that off because we heard that it would have been bigger,” Carswell said. “There is no dispute that there was DNA from both Richard and Shirley on the fingernail clippings.”

Carswell brought up that DNA can be masked due to things like blood. Carswell mentioned that her hand was in blood.

Carswell said we have two eyewitnesses that saw Richard leave and a woman in Corrigan who nagged the police that she saw the man that was described.

Carswell closed with the fact that Kavonda left and Shirley was fully dressed and that we know when she came back, Shirley was naked and cut and hurt.

Carswell said they know that they had arguments about sex and that sex only happened on Tuesday between them.

“Shirley told you that,” Carswell said.

Carswell pointed out when Kavonda came back the front door was locked which is what happened when they had sex but since it was a Thursday it was unusual.

“Taylor had no blood on him because he either washed himself off in the tub or he was there naked with her,” Carswell said. “I don’t have any evidence of the DNA or fingerprints bur I don’t need them because she told them he did it.”

In punishment arguments, Carswell asked for a life sentence.

"We know he is violent," Carswell said. "He has shot people, stabbed people. He started at 25. He is now 53. He has had his shot at parole in the past. He has bent the rules and broken the rules."

Charanza said he could be considered for parole but it is not likely.

Carswell said if he is given the chance to do something again he will.

"He took a lady's life in a vicious, horrible way," Carswell said. "Don't fall for the sympathy. Don't fall for the financial obligation. Sometimes you have to take that to keep the people of Angelina County safe."

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