The Commercial Appeal
Jury starts deliberating in Taylor trial
A jury Tuesday deliberated for almost three hours, but adjourned without determining whether an East Memphis nurse shot her husband to death in self- defense or as part of a carefully considered plan.
The Criminal Court jury will resume deliberations this morning in the case of Pamela Taylor, charged with first- degree murder for the death of Michael Taylor, 39. He was shot in the heart and behind the right ear on the morning of Dec. 23, 2009, at the couple’s apartment at the Madison Humphreys Center near Interstate 40 and Walnut Grove Road.
Pamela Taylor, 38 at the time, faces life in prison if convicted as charged, though lesser charges of homicide also are possible.
She told jurors during the nine - day trial that her husband had a steroid-fueled anger problem and was threatening to kill her that morning, while state prosecutors contended that she made bogus calls to police and staged the crime scene to bolster her self- defense account.
“That’s not rage because he didn’t do it , she did,” said prosecutor Charles “Bo” Summers, referring to overturned chairs in the apartment. “Those chairs were tipped over. They weren’t thrown. The Christmas tree and other items in the apartment were not disturbed.”
Taylor testified that she lived in fear of her husband and that he was dragging her by her hair when she tried to push away from him, causing the gun she had concealed in her sweatshirt sleeve to discharge.
She said she bought the snub -nosed .38- cal- iber revolver for protection the previous day by pawning rings and other jewelry.
Defense attorney Andre Wharton told jurors that his client’s hair fibers found on Michael Taylor’s fingers supports her account.
“Michael Taylor had a violent temper,” Wharton said, adding that he had often smashed video - game controllers and once smashed a golf club on a tree. “He couldn’t control himself. ... If she planned to kill him, why not do it in his sleep?”
Prosecutors acknowledged that the victim used steroids, but said he was highly competitive, not violent .
“The only person to say he was violent was Pam,” said prosecutor Missy Branham, adding that the defendant falsely told police several times that her husband had beaten her. “She was laying the groundwork (for the shooting). The whole thing is about me, me, me. There’s Pam’s world and the real world.”