Judge declines motion to lower first-degree murder charge

May 7, 2019

CALDWELL — The defense attorney for a man charged with two counts of murder said in court Tuesday that the state has failed to prove premeditation in a first-degree murder charge. A judge ruled against that motion, stating there was sufficient evidence on whether or not there was premeditation in the murder.

Taylor is charged with first-degree murder of his father Paul Taylor and second-degree murder of his mother Jane Taylor. Both were found dead inside a shed at their house Sept. 14, 2017. However, Taylor’s defense attorney Aaron Bazzoli claimed Tuesday the prosecutors failed to provide evidence that Paul’s murder was premeditated, which is required for first-degree murder.

“If you look at the state’s evidence, we still don’t know exactly time or date Paul was killed. Anywhere from (September) 8 or 11,” Bazzoli said.

Canyon County Deputy Prosecutor Ellie Somoza said one could infer that Jane Taylor was killed first, since she was found in William Taylor’s bedroom. That means he would have had to then move to the master bedroom Paul Taylor was in and kill him, she explained.

“We don’t have any definitive evidence as to the order of who was killed first but we do know they were killed at separate times,” she said.

Judge Gene Petty determined that, because Paul Taylor was murdered either lying or sitting down and that he was killed by blunt force trauma, there was substantial evidence presented on whether or not premeditation was used in the murder of Paul.

Defense rested it’s case without calling any experts, as “we felt our case was sufficiently presented,” Bazzoli said.

With a packed courtroom, attorneys are set to present closing arguments Tuesday.