Testimony Against Former Sheriff's Deputy Continues - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

08/25/05 - Trinity County

Testimony Against Former Sheriff's Deputy Continues

by Ramonica R. Jones

Former co-workers of Marshall Scott Taylor took the stand Thursday. Taylor is accused of using deadly force on a Trinity County jail inmate.

Witnesses said he used a karate chokehold on the prisoner in handcuffs. Taylor reportedly grabbed the inmate by the neck and rammed his head into a locked jail door to open it. Afterwards, the inmate was nearly unconscious.

Part of Thursday's testimony centered around a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former chief deputy John Joslin. Joslin slapped Trinity County with a lawsuit after the sheriff's office fired him last spring. He believes he was wrongfully terminated after taking action against the county.

Joslin said the department fired him because he would not drop an investigation into the beating of the inmate.

Taylor is apparently a friend of Trinity County Sheriff Jimmy Smith.

At one point, the judge released jurors to take a tour of the jail, to better understand testimony.

Taylor's attorney repeatedly asked Joslin about his intentions in the case against his client, claiming Taylor's conviction for official oppression is the only way Joslin can win his lawsuit against the county. The lawyer also asked Joslin about comments he reportedly made while still working at the jail - vowing to get rid of Scott Taylor and another deputy.

If convicted of official oppression, Taylor faces two years in jail. He could also permanently lose his peace officer's license.

Closing arguments in the Taylor trial are expected Friday.

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