Kevin Taylor sentenced to 20 years

WARNING: The following story contains graphic details.

Kevin Patrick Taylor, a 56-year-old San Juan Island man, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, 1:30 p.m. on Monday, July 22 for the murder of his wife, Julie Taylor in September of 2016.

“This has been a gut-wrenching case,” Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock, who presided over the trial, told the courtroom.

In May,Kevin Taylor was found guilty of felony murder (a death that resulted from felony assault) for the bludgeoning death of his wife Julie Taylor as well as arson for starting a fire in her car the same night as her murder. She was 56 at the time of her death. The jury also returned special determinations that it was a crime of domestic violence and that the death occurred with a firearm.

According to San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney Randall Gaylord, this was the first San Juan County jury trial in a murder case since the 1985 trial for the murder of Lopez resident Rolf Neslund.

Sentencing was originally set for Monday, July 8, however, defense attorney Jason Schwarz filed a motion for a continuance claiming that the state had added new information while calculating restitution. San Juan County Deputy Prosecutor Teresa Barnett argued against the continuance, noting that the information was factual.

Acknowledging that it was a burden for people to come in again, Hancock allowed statements regarding sentencing at the scheduled July 8 hearing. Several people wrote to the court, but only one person, Nancy Vevoda on behalf of Beverly Bridges, provided oral testimony on July 8. Her statement, at one point in which stated how much she missed Julie, moved many in the courtroom to tears.

Case details

According to court documents, San Juan County dispatch received a call from someone in the Taylors’ Friday Harbor residence at 1 a.m. on Sept. 3, 2016. A deputy arrived on scene 20 minutes later and found Julie Taylor lying near an open doorway, not moving and with a large pool of blood around her head.

A motorcycle helmet and cat food cans partially covered face. A .22 rifle broken into pieces lay scattered around her head along with a broken potted plant. Blood spatter covered the adjoining cabinet, walls and ceiling.

Kevin Taylor was sitting nearby on a couch, and stated to the deputy, “I got her.” He was placed under arrest.

After claiming that his wife had poisoned him, Kevin Taylor was transported to Peace Island Medical Center to be evaluated by emergency room staff. He was medically cleared and booked into San Juan County Jail.

The victim was taken to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s office where an autopsy was conducted.

The Washington State Patrol Crime Scene Response Team responded a few hours later to assist San Juan County in its investigation. The team collected blood samples and used a 3D imaging camera to photograph the scene.

Officers discovered notes on the kitchen counter that said: “I don’t feel a heartbeat, I win!! Bitch,” “I hope she died,” “She forgot to kiss me goodbye,” “She told me too soon,” and “I win.”

The Taylors had been married for 25 years.