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Son gets life sentence in father’s beating death

By Staff | Jun 1, 2017

A man has been sentenced for beating to death his father in a Cape Coral residence in 2012.

On Thursday, a Lee County judge sentenced Leroy James “Jim” Taylor Jr., 59, of 29 Ball St., Waverly, N.Y., to life in prison in the death of his father, Leroy James Taylor Sr., 91, of 505 S.W. 49th Lane.

“The Air Force retiree and combat veteran died as a result of blunt force trauma to his head and chest,” Samantha Syoen, the spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office, said via a prepared statement.

“He was doused in gasoline and an attempt to set him ablaze failed,” she added.

Assistant State Attorney Hamid Hunter prosecuted the case.

“We would like to thank the Cape Coral Police Department for their hard work on this case,” Syoen said.

Defense attorney Joseph Viacava represented Taylor.

He did not return a message on Thursday seeking comment.

On Jan. 27, a Lee County jury found Taylor guilty of second-degree murder.

Syoen reported that the conviction followed a six-day trial.

On July 18, 2012, the body of Taylor Sr. was found inside of his bedroom by a business partner who was checking up on him after he did not show up for work. According to a report, he appeared to have been beaten about the head and face. There was an odor of gasoline and gas cans were found nearby.

Taylor Sr.’s shirt, skin and the carpet around his body was soaked in gasoline, the report noted. It appeared two parts of the rug in his bedroom had been burned, but had extinguished by themselves.

The investigation revealed that Taylor had been visiting his father. He would stay at his father’s home one week out of each month, coinciding the trip from New York with visitations with his children.

On July 17, 2012, Taylor contacted his father’s friends to tell them his father was sick.

The following day, he took a taxi to the airport and flew back to New York.

On July 19, 2012, Taylor contacted Cape police and said he had learned of his father’s death. He suggested that the death seemed suspicious and noted that his father had recently been sick.

Evidence collected from Taylor in New York included multiple bruises all over his body, red and swollen knuckles, cuts and nicks, and a possible bite mark. Clothing and apparel were seized from his suitcase. Human blood was found on several items and blood on a belt matched his father’s DNA.