Profile of an accused killer
Updated: Wednesday, December 11 2013, 05:22 PM EST
Wayne & Monroe County, N.Y. --- The Rochester man accused of killing a mother and daughter in July has spent most of his adult life behind bars.
But the family of Dante Taylor, speaking for the first time to 13WHAM News, insists he was a changed man who put his criminal past behind him and was doing good things. They believe police arrested the wrong man.
The Double Murder
On July 14, 2013 the bodies of Terri and Stacy Moulton were found inside a Sodus home. They were “savagely stabbed” to death according to New York State Police Investigator Christopher Baldwin. Small fires were set in the home, presumably to cover-up the crime.
Investigators stated that they believe the mother and daughter walked in on a burglary in progress. The two women were checking in on a friend’s pets while that friend was out of town.
On July 18th Dante Taylor, 33, was arrested as he was finishing up his workday at B&L Wholesale according to police.
Taylor Tells Two Different Stories
Court records show that Taylor told New York State Police on July 18th that he was nowhere near Sodus on the day of the murders.
“I was home all day, my girlfriend will verify,” he reportedly told police. In the brief interview before Taylor requested a lawyer, state police said he told them the last time he was in Sodus was “end of May or June” and that he had his car and phone with him all day.
Yet a day later, on July 19th, Taylor was visited by his parole officer in the Monroe County Jail. According to the parole officer Taylor told him he was in Sodus on the day of the crime, and in fact was at the home where the bodies were found. The parole officer wrote in his statement to investigators:
“Taylor admits to being at the residence of the homicide stating that he went there with an unidentified black male whom he states is (sic) an acquaintance of his mother’s and describes him as being older and bigger than Taylor and bald….Taylor states that this black male went into residence for approximately 20 minutes and came out with a basket full of stuff which Taylor gave him $100 for….Taylor stated that if he could talk to an attorney and make a deal, he would give up the black male’s name.”
How these statements were obtained and other evidence was gathered during this investigation was scrutinized in court by Taylor’s lawyer on Friday. The suppression hearing continues next week with at least one more witness due to be called.
The judge’s ruling will determine what evidence can be presented at trial.
Taylor’s Family: Police “Got the Wrong Guy”
Taylor’s aunt and fiancé were in Wayne County Court on Friday to witness the proceeding. Both believe Taylor is innocent and that police arrested the wrong man for these crimes.
"My deepest condolences go out to this family (the Moulton’s) but they need to find the guy who did this and I'm going to help as much as I can,” said Taylor’s aunt who chose not to provide her name. “All the evidence, it's not pointing to him being the man who did this and raising Dante, or being there for him, he's gotten his life back together. He got his life back.”
“They talk about all the negative stuff but they don't focus on what he really did,” said Taylor’s fiancé Yaharia Contes. “When he got out of jail he's accomplished so much.”
"My response is he was indicted by a Wayne County Grand Jury and we're going forward,” replied Wayne County District Attorney Richard Healy. “We have no evidence to believe he's innocent if I did I wouldn't prosecute him.”
Charles Moulton, the husband and father of the victims in this case, declined to comment on Friday.
"It's been horrible for the Moulton family,” said D.A. Healy. “Chuck Moulton's here today I mean it's really unimaginable and I know that he's being strong and the fact that he's here is great but it's got to be very, very difficult for him.”
Taylor’s Criminal History
Taylor, 33, has spent nearly his entire adult like behind bars. If convicted of the Murder, Burglary, and Arson charges he now faces in this case he could spend the rest of his life in state prison.
Taylor’s criminal history is first documented in public records dating back to 1997 when he was 17 years-old. Taylor and others were arrested for robbing a woman who was delivering pizzas in the City of Rochester.
The woman was shot in the neck during that robbery and despite a seven-count indictment Taylor was allowed to plead guilty to one count of Attempted Robbery. He received a two-to-four year prison sentence as part of that plea deal.
Taylor ended up serving the maximum sentence thanks to a “serious disciplinary record” and the parole board denying him early release. Parole hearing transcripts note that, “because of your attitude this board had to cut short your interview.”
Taylor left state prison in 2002 and by 2003 he was back behind bars facing drug and robbery charges. One set of charges stemmed from the robbery of a 61 year-old man in Rochester who was walking to his car at 10:30 a.m.
The man told police Taylor, “had a black semi auto pistol pointed at my side.”
When police caught up with Taylor months later he was in possession of cocaine and marijuana according to police records. He was charged with multiple crimes but was again allowed to plead guilty to Attempted Robbery.
Taylor served the maximum eight years in prison and was denied parole twice more due in part to “poor disciplinary behavior” according to parole board transcripts.
"Your release at this time is incompatible with the welfare and safety of the community,” the parole board concluded in 2010.
Taylor left state prison in August 2011.
He was arrested for the murders of Terri and Stacy Moulton on July 18, 2013.
Taylor’s trial is scheduled to begin in February.