A McDonald County man will remain in prison after losing his attempt to overturn a 20-year sentence for felony assault of a law enforcement officer.
The Missouri Southern District Court of Appeals Tuesday rejected Larry Dean Taylor's contention that Judge Kevin Selby erred when he allowed prosecutors to tell jurors that Taylor was on parole at the time he committed the crimes.
Taylor did not challenge that there was enough evidence to convict him. According to the opinion, on Oct. 26, 2001, McDonald County Sheriff's deputies Harvey Gow and Carl Cosper, along with two reserve officers, went to Taylor's home to arrest him on two outstanding parole warrants.
Cosper knocked on the door, which was opened by a young woman named Jeanie Bird, who refused to let the officers in even after they told her they had a warrant. When they finally got in, they found Taylor and told him he was under arrest.
As Cosper approached Taylor with handcuffs, Taylor pulled a knife, raised it over Cosper's head and told the officers to leave. Gow drew his gun and told Taylor to drop the knife. Taylor said if the officers touched him, he would kill them, according to the opinion.
The officers were finally able to convince Taylor to put the weapon away. As they continued to talk about the outstanding warrants, Taylor again "became agitated and pulled a second knife from his waistband."
"Let's get it on right here, right now," Taylor said, obviously having seen too many movies. "Either you kill me or I'm going to kill you." Again, the officers were able to convince him to put the knife down, but they were still unable to approach him.
Taylor agreed to speak with either Chief Deputy Tom West or Sheriff Bob Evenson about possibly turning himself in, according to the opinion. Cosper called Evenson and told him what was going on. Evenson called the Special Emergency Response Team and headed toward Taylor's place.
While the officers continued talking with Taylor, he took a "large medieval battle axe from a wall in his house and began to carry it around with him."
After Evenson and West arrived and talked with Taylor, "it became clear to them that he was not going to leave the residence peacefully."
With Taylor staying in his bedroom at that point, the response team stationed itself in his bathroom and planned to lure him out with a "flash bang" distraction device or shoot him with a beanbag gun. Cosper managed to get Taylor out of the bedroom by asking for some aspirin. When he came out, the response team tried to set off the flash bang device, but it failed to detonate. An officer shot Taylor in the chest and stomach with the beanbag gun. That failed to stop him and Taylor grabbed two knives from his waistband and threatened to kill all of the officers.
He was shot a second time, forcing him to drop one of the knives. He returned to his bedroom and shut the door. With Ms. Bird barricaded in the bedroom with him, Taylor tried to use the battle axe to hold the door shut. The officers eventually agreed to let Ms. Bird leave the room. Finally, they were able to get into the bedroom and subdue Taylor.