Man pleads guilty to killing roommate he thought was starting Nazi cult
IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls man who reportedly killed his roommate because he felt he was starting a Nazi cult has pleaded guilty to murder.
Douglass Taylor entered the plea to the first-degree murder charge Wednesday before District Judge Bruce Pickett. Taylor pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement that stipulates Bonneville County prosecutors will recommend no more than a 25-years-to-life sentence, and defense attorneys will recommend no less than 15 years to life.
The Idaho Falls Police Department arrested Taylor on March 10, 2020, after finding the body of his 51-year-old roommate, Hermann Hans Woerrlein. Originally from Germany, Woerrlien had moved into the sober home for those with mental illnesses on the corner of Higbee Avenue and 17th Street, where Taylor and others lived.
Around 10:30 p.m. the night of the slaying, a roommate testified during a preliminary hearing that he heard a commotion upstairs with Woerrlein uttering, “No, please stop.” Once upstairs, the roommate said he found Taylor standing over Woerrlein with blood on the floor. Taylor reportedly pulled a knife out of the bleeding man’s neck before running out the front door.
The roommate did not touch the man, fearing police would pin the crime on him. The roommate then called 911, prompting officers to find the motionless body of Woerrlein with 17 stab wounds and six slashes from a knife.
Police found Taylor sitting behind Albertsons on 17th Street with blood-covered clothes. They took him to the county Law Enforcement Building for questioning. During questioning, Taylor reportedly said he killed Woerrlein because the man was trying to start a new cult with Nazi German mythology, and he did not tolerate proselytizing.
Sentencing for Taylor is scheduled for Feb. 9 at the Bonneville County Courthouse.