Judge calls murders ‘heinous’ before sentencing former Pocatello police officer to life in prison
Ruth Brown, Idaho Statesman
Published at | Updated at
NAMPA (Idaho Statesman) — The former police officer convicted of brutally killing his parents in 2017 will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Canyon County District Judge Gene Petty sentenced William “Willie” Taylor on Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and two felony counts of failing to report a death.
Taylor, 50, was convicted after a May trial of killing his father, Paul Robert Taylor, 76, and his mother, Mary Jane “Jane” Taylor, 77, in September 2017.
The gruesome killings took place at the Nampa home where the victims and the suspect lived, in the 1900 block of West Flamingo Avenue. Police found the couple’s bodies wrapped in a tarp and stuffed in a shed next to their carport.
Taylor fled in his father’s pickup to Oregon, where police apprehended him.
The prosecution asked that the judge impose a life sentence without the possibility of parole, while the defense argued that Taylor should be given the opportunity of parole because this was his first felony conviction.
“He is capable of the worst kind of betrayal and violence,” argued Canyon County deputy prosecutor Ellie Somoza.
Taylor was a Pocatello police officer from October 1991 through December 1996, the Nampa Police Department previously reported. He served in the NPD reserve in 1990 and 1991. He was also a probation officer and a teacher, according to the defense.
Taylor declined to make a statement before the sentence was issued.
Defense attorney Ryan Dowell appealed for parole to be an option, even if Taylor had to serve a 10-year mandatory minimum, but the judge disagreed.
“It is very clear that you killed your parents, but yet you have failed to take any responsibility for killing them,” Petty told Taylor before issuing his sentence.
He noted that the exact motive still remains unclear.
“The way that you killed your parents was very brutal,” Petty said in court. “…You stabbed your mother repeatedly. You attacked your father while he was in his bed. You tried to clean up the crime scene. You left their bodies to rot at their home and you fled to Oregon. These were heinous, cruel and intentional killings.”
Petty ordered Taylor to serve a fixed life sentence for each murder count, plus five years for each count of failing to report a death.
“I find that due to the nature of these murders, that you should spend the rest of your life behind bars,” Petty said. “… I do not do this lightly. I give you this sentence because it is the most appropriate sentence for these murders.”