Son formally charged with second-degree murder in dad’s death
The State Attorney’s Office filed charges Thursday against a man accused of fatally beating his 91-year-old father last month in a Cape Coral home.
Leroy James Taylor Jr., 54, of 29 Ball St., Waverly, N.Y., is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Leroy James Taylor Sr., 91, of 505 S.W. 49th Lane. Taylor Sr. was reportedly killed between July 14 and 18.
Assistant public defender Nail McLoughlin is representing him.
McLoughlin did not return a message seeking comment Thursday.
Assistant state attorney Marie Doerr is prosecuting the case.
On July 18, Taylor Sr. did not show up for work, so his business partner visited his home on Southwest 49th Lane. He found the front door unlocked, but the door to Taylor Sr.’s room was shut and locked, a report states.
The man knocked and called out, but received no response. He then walked around the outside of the home and observed the master bathroom light on.
The man went back in and jimmied the lock to gain entry into the bedroom. Inside, he discovered his business partner lying unresponsive on the floor.
According to the report, Taylor Sr. appeared to have been beaten about the head and face. There was an overpowering odor of gasoline, and two gas cans were located nearby – one in the bedroom and one just outside of the room.
The man called police, and responders pronounced Taylor Sr. dead.
Officers noted that there was broken glass and items at the scene, along with damage to the drywall in the master bedroom. It appeared two parts of the rug in Taylor Sr.’s room were burned, but extinguished by themselves.
His shirt, skin and the carpet around him was soaked in gasoline.
An autopsy determined that the man’s death was a homicide, caused by “homicidal violence with blunt impacts to head and chest.” He sustained a broken sternum and a subdural hemorrhage on the left side of his brain.
Taylor Sr. also had defensive wounds to his left arm and left hand.
An investigation revealed that Taylor Jr. had been visiting his father. He allegedly has a violent past and his ex-wife has a lifetime injunction against him. The court allows him to spend two hours per month with his children.
The visitations have to be supervised by a psychiatrist.
Taylor Jr. would stay at his father’s home one week out of each month, coinciding the trip from New York with his visitations with his children.
On July 17, Taylor Jr. began calling and texting his father’s friends.
He told his father’s business partner that Taylor Sr. was not feeling well and he might have to take him to the hospital. He instructed the cleaning lady not to come the next day, as usual, because he and his father were leaving town.
He contacted his court-ordered psychiatrist and initially said he might not make his evening visitation with his children because his father was sick and needed to go to the hospital. He called later on and said he would make it.
On July 18, Taylor Jr. again contacted his father’s business partner. He said his father still was not feeling well, but he was headed back to New York.
According to the report, a taxi driver picked up Taylor Jr. at the home at about 7 a.m. July 18 and took him to the airport, where he flew to New York.
On July 19, Taylor Jr. contacted Cape police. He said he had learned of his father’s death and suggested that the death seemed suspicious, the report states. He said his father had been sick, but would not go to the hospital.
On July 20, Cape detectives flew to New York and collected evidence.
Taylor Jr. had multiple bruises all over his body and the knuckles on both hands were red and swollen. There was an area of bruising on the left side of his back and a possible bite mark to his flank. He also had cuts and nicks.
Clothing and apparel were seized from his suitcase. Human blood was found on multiple items, and blood found on a belt matched Taylor Sr.’s DNA profile.
On Aug. 1, Taylor Jr. was taken into custody by Cape police and booked into the Lee County Jail on murder dangerous depraved without premeditation.
As of Thursday, he remained at the jail without bond.
Taylor Jr. has a court appearance set for Sept. 4.