ELKHART — An Elkhart man convicted of three counts of attempted murder failed to prove to the Indiana Court of Appeals that the state did not have sufficient evidence to prove his intent to kill.
John Taylor IV, 20 appealed his conviction, arguing the state did not present sufficient evidence beyond reasonable doubt to sustain his conviction.
Taylor was charged with three counts of attempted murder Oct. 31, 2011, five days after being involved in a shooting in which three men were injured. He was sentenced to 75 years in prison and five years on probation after he was found guilty on all counts.
According to the probable cause affidavit for Taylor’s case, Taylor told police he had an altercation at a restaurant in Elkhart with Chamar Jackson. The next day, on Oct. 26, he went to the same restaurant but couldn’t find Jackson. He drove around and found Jackson in a car with two other men. He took an SKS gun out of the trunk of his car and fired at Jackson and the other two men in the car, he told police.
Police responded at 3:25 p.m. to the 2100 block of Pennsylvania, where they found the two other men wounded. Jackson was not injured.
To convict Taylor of attempted murder, the state had to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Taylor had the specific intent to kill each of the three victims.
Legally, indicatives of an intent to kill may be inferred by the words of the suspect during the attack, the nature and circumstances surrounding the crime, or whether a deadly weapon was used.
In his appeal, Taylor argued that “had he really intended to kill, he would have inflicted more serious injury or death” to the victims. But the Court of Appeals didn’t buy that.
“We find that the fact that the victims’ injuries were not more severe merely proves that Taylor is a bad marksman,” wrote Appeals Judge Patricia Riley in the court’s decision.
The state provided evidence that showed Taylor walked to a car, on the driver’s side, and started firing indiscriminately. Taylor walked around the car shooting on both the windows and body of the car.
A witness also told the court during Taylor’s jury trial that he had told her of his intentions to kill her and the victims. Another witness told the court she saw Taylor after the shooting, and that he told her he thought he had killed one of them.
The court concluded that the state had, in fact, presented sufficient evidence in the case.