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Houston attorney testifies in murder trial about losing son, being burned

January 22, 2019

Houston defense attorney Kirby Taylor broke down in tears as he testified Tuesday about missing his son, who was burned to death by a man Taylor let stay in their home.

“Birthdays are not good. We used to go to the movies on birthdays and I still go by myself,” Taylor said tearfully. “Not good. Not good. Not good.”

The defense attorney was testifying against Curtis Lee Holliman, 35, who was convicted last week of murder for setting fire to Taylor and his 45-year-old son Dexter Taylor in January 2016.

Taylor, who was burned over 30 percent of his body, also teared up as he talked about having his bandages changed twice a day for a year.

“On a good day, it took four hours and three nurses for me to take a shower,” he sobbed. “Very painful. When you’re set on fire, you feel pain like that.”

Attorneys for Holliman argued that he was insane at the time of the slaying and should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.

The jury rejected that defense deciding instead that Holliman was responsible for his actions, including smoking marijuana and doubling up on prescriptions from different doctors.

Holliman testified he was taking at least triple the amount of the amphetamine Adderall that he had been prescribed when he began having paranoid delusions. Those delusions, he said, spurred him to throw a jug of gasoline on the two men after he thought they were laughing at him.

Kirby Taylor, who had met Holliman at a church, was burned over 30 percent of his body and survived the incident that took place on Martin Luther King Day in 2016.

The attorney testified that neither he nor his son laughed at Holliman, and that his son simply smiled after Holliman confronted them with his paranoid delusions.

Jurors are expected to begin deliberating Holliman’s punishment after lunch Tuesday.

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