- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

GARY, Ind. (AP) - Glynn Taylor was picking up chairs for an upcoming holiday party in December 2012 when he saw Gary officers zoom by a nearby highway.

He later learned those officers could have been responding to his son’s shooting death. Richard Taylor, 25, of Gary, was found Dec. 17, 2012, shot to death in an alley east of the 900 block of Aetna Street.

The elder Taylor rushed to the scene, but his son’s body had already been picked up by the Lake County coroner’s office. In a state of shock, he doesn’t remember crying until hours after he came to the realization that his son was gone.

“When it hit me, I fell to my knees,” he told The (Munster) Times (https://bit.ly/1cLKphu ). “Everything changed.”

More than three years later, Taylor and his family are still searching for a sense of justice and closure.

Three people were charged in his son’s homicide, but last month prosecutors dismissed charges against one suspect, Devonte J. Green, 19, of Gary. According to court records, the Lake County prosecutor’s office moved to dismiss the charges against Green because they needed more time to investigate the case.

Lake County Judge Clarence Murray granted the state’s motion, which included the option to later refile charges.

Glynn Taylor said his family was hurt by the state’s decision, adding he believes anyone who was involved in the homicide should face consequences. Still, he said he understands the decision was part of a balancing act to prosecuting the three individuals.

He remains hopeful that one of the cases will one day go to trial, even if it takes a couple more years.

“When you find out the truth, it’s going to set you back,” he said. “But it’s what you want to hear. Some parents never get the details.”

Richard Taylor was standing outside of a gas station in Gary’s Aetna neighborhood when Jacqueline C. Kennedy allegedly pointed a gun at him, according to court records. His mother told police her son had mental health problems and didn’t have any money with him that day.

Glynn Taylor said his son would often go to that gas station to buy items, and his former wife would later go to pay for items Richard Taylor purchased.

Kennedy allegedly told detectives she wanted to rob Taylor because her birthday was the next day. She said she and Anthony Hood chased Taylor after he pushed the gun away from him, according to court records. Though they tripped Taylor causing him to fall on the ground, he was able to get up and continuing running.

According to court records, the group eventually caught up to Taylor and shot him several times. Kennedy later implicated Green in the homicide alleging he had helped them beat up Taylor before the shooting, according to court records.

Kennedy has pending charges of murder and murder in the perpetration of a robbery. Her next hearing is scheduled for July 27. Hood is scheduled to stand trial on murder charges Sept. 14.

Since 2013, Glynn Taylor said he and his family have spent the time attending court hearings where they have to face the suspects and their families. He’s contemplated jumping from the gallery to where the defendant is standing, but he then thinks about the consequences of those actions.

He’s turned to activism to cope with his son’s loss. He attends rallies against violence and hears the stories of other parents whose children were also gunned down.

He’s come to oppose all deaths caused by guns. In his garage, he has various signs stating things such as, “Guns Are For Cowards,” that he uses for an annual rally he organizes in his neighborhood against violence. This year’s march and rally against violence starts at 11 a.m. July 4 at 220 E. 49th Ave., in Gary.

Inside his home, he has newspaper clippings related to his son’s homicide and various photos. One story lists him as the 42nd homicide victim in Gary for 2012. One phone shows a young Richard Taylor smiling for a school photo wearing a domino tie. Another enlarged photo taken at Taylor’s last birthday states, “1st Born 1st to heaven.”

Glynn Taylor said his son liked to run, enjoyed working on cars and was mild mannered. He said his son never got to move into his own house, never got married and never had children.

“You did all that worrying and caring,” he said. “And someone comes along and pulls the trigger.”

Taylor said he worries the two suspects still facing criminal charges could get out of prison, if convicted, within a couple years, which could mean his other children could bump into them.

One of the things he wants to change is to have stricter sentencing guidelines for murder cases. He said he doesn’t think it’s justice for people convicted of murder to get non-life sentences.

“Until the laws are stricter - you take a life, you lose a life - things will never change,” he said.

Late last month, Taylor had shifted all his attention on sorting out the details and preparations for this year’s rally. He also waits for the night that he gets to see his son again in a dream.

In his last dream, he saw his son as a young boy hiding under a kitchen cabinet.

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Information from: The Times, https://www.thetimesonline.com

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