Taylor confession credible?

October 13, 2009 5:31:36 PM PDT
Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby filed his written response Tuesday to the North Carolina Innocence Commission's review of the Greg Taylor case.Taylor was convicted in 1991 of murdering a prostitute and leaving her battered body in Southeast Raleigh. He's been in jail ever since.

The Innocence Commission found that there was enough evidence to have the case reviewed on the basis of a confession of another man who said he killed Jacquetta Thomas.

But Willoughby says while he won't try and stop a judicial review of the case, there are serious problems with Craig Taylor's (no relation) confession.

Willoughby said in his response Tuesday that Craig Taylor has a long history of physical and mental health problems and that he's confessed to more than 70 murders. In one of those cases, he was in jail at the time and couldn't have committed the crime.

As part of the Innocence Commission investigation, four interviews were done with Craig Taylor over ten weeks this year by investigator Sharon Stellato.

Click here to read the interview (.pdf)

She asked Craig Taylor how he killed the victim - to which he answered: "two gunshots to the head."

But Thomas was beaten to death.

An expert on confessions testified before the Innocence Commission and said the admissions made by Craig Taylor are credible and match up with evidence only the killer would know.

Still, Willoughby has doubts. In his written response made public Tuesday, he lists some of the other cases Craig Taylor has confessed to - including the murder of a Virginia woman he told authorities about after watching a segment on the case on the crime TV show Unsolved Mysteries. Taylor's recollections of the crime didn't match evidence at the crime scene.

Willoughby also said Craig Taylor confessed to being involved in 65 other murders while working for a Jamaican drug organization under the code name "Ninja."

His response includes affidavits from multiple investigators who have worked on cases where Craig Taylor has confessed.

Click here to read the response and affidavits (.pdf)

In one, an Onlsow County investigation said Craig Taylor confessed to killing a man and then setting his body on fire in a car. There is no record of such a crime in the county. In another affidavit, a Metropolitan Police Department investigator in Washington says he investigated three murders Taylor confessed to there, and he also was unable to find any evidence of murders that matched what Taylor confessed to.

"If the public were to go back and read these statements in their entirety - not just the little portions that were shown to the Innocence Inquiry Commission - they would be skeptical also," Willoughby told Eyewitness News in an interview Monday.

Click here to watch that story

The Innocence Commission's decision to recommend a judicial review of Greg Taylor's conviction was almost entirely based on Craig Taylor's confession. Willoughby says in his written response that the commission's examination of scientific evidence in the case was inconclusive.

Greg Taylor, who has served 16 years in prison for the crime, has maintained his innocence throughout.

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