Courtney Taylor capital murder trial still on track to start in early March
Barring unforeseen circumstances happening, the long awaited trial of Courtney Taylor, who is accused of killing her husband and two teenage daughters nearly two years ago, appears headed for an actual trial in early March.
Courtney Taylor, 44, is charged with three counts of capital murder in the Jan. 13, 2017, shooting deaths of her husband, Larry Taylor, 56, and her two daughters, Jesse Taylor, 18, and Jolee Taylor, 13. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in her case.
Special Judge Jeffery Burdette met with attorneys for both sides in chambers for about 20 minutes Wednesday morning prior to a scheduled pretrial conference in Taylor’s case.
Burdette then entered court and noted that there are no motions still pending in the case, and that jury selection is slated to begin March 2 in Whitley Circuit Court.
Jury selection is expected to take about one week to complete with the actual trial expected to start on March 9.
Taylor’s trial has been postponed multiple times previously due to various issues.
Burdette also scheduled a Jan. 22 pretrial conference in the case, and noted that he would likely schedule a February pretrial conference as well so that any last minute motions or issues could be addressed prior to the start of the trial.
Taylor is also charged in a separate indictment with two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for pointing a 9mm handgun at Whitley County Sheriff’s Deputy Jonas Saunders and Sgt. James Fox, who responded to her residence to investigate the shooting.
Saunders shot her twice with his service weapon when she allegedly pointed a gun at him. Courtney Taylor was in the hospital for about two weeks before being released and taken to the Whitley County Detention Center.
Burdette issued an order on Oct. 3, which will permit jurors to hear a nearly 90-minute statement she gave to police from her hospital bed days after the shooting that explains in part why she killed her husband and her two daughters.
Part of the reason she killed her husband was that she blamed him in part for going through most of her more than $250,000 worker’s compensation settlement in a few months although the money was in an account in her name only, according to a portion of her statement to police that was played in open court during a July hearing.
Defense lawyers unsuccessfully argued that Taylor was incapacitated by medication after surgery, which made her statements to police involuntary.
They also unsuccessfully argued that because of her incapacitation by medication, Taylor didn’t have the capacity to knowingly and voluntarily waive her Miranda rights against giving self-incriminating statements to police.
She is being held in the Whitley County Detention Center in lieu of a $1 million cash bond.