CALDWELL — A Nampa man who murdered his parents and left them in a shed nearly two years ago has been sentenced to serve the rest of his life in prison.
In May, jurors found 50-year-old William Taylor, a former Pocatello police officer, guilty of first-degree murder of his father and second-degree murder of his mother, and two counts of failing to notify police of their deaths.
The bodies of Paul and Jane Taylor were found in a shed on their Nampa property on Sept. 14, 2017, roughly a week after their deaths.
“My life and the lives of my husband and children were turned upside down on September 14, 2017, when my parents, Paul and Jane Taylor, were found bludgeoned to death and left to rot in their shed,” Tammy Mayer, William Taylor’s sister said at his sentencing recently. “Our hearts were further broken upon discovery that my brother was responsible.”
At the time of the murders, William Taylor had been living with his parents for about a year in the 1900 block of West Flamingo Avenue, a quiet retirement community.
Taylor had struggled with alcoholism and his parents provided him a place to stay because he could not hold down a job, according to Canyon County Prosecutor Ellie Somoza. He was on probation and doing community service for a misdemeanor DUI conviction at the time of the murders, she said.
On Sept. 8, 2017, Taylor bludgeoned both his parents to death and repeatedly stabbed Jane Taylor in the throat. No murder weapons were ever located. Following their murders, Taylor placed them in a shed and tried to clean up the scene at the house before fleeing to Oregon, where he was later arrested.
“It’s very clear you killed your parents but you have failed to take responsibility,” District Judge Gene Petty said at Taylor’s recent sentencing.
Throughout the trial, nothing clarified why Taylor ultimately decided to kill his parents, he said.
“Today, we still have no answers to that question,” Petty said.
Taylor declined to address the court during his sentencing.
The details of the murders are gruesome and the women in Taylor’s life who read victim impact statements — Taylor’s sister and two ex-wives — shed tears as they spoke.
When Mayer, Taylor’s sister, addressed the court for her witness impact statement she started by describing her parents as happy, loving and kind.
Paul enjoyed fishing and playing cards with his friends. Every recently, Jane Taylor would meet with her friends, whom Mayer called “the Saints” where they would catch up on life. Everything her mother did, she said, was for others.
The couple also made a huge impact on the Northwest Nazarene University community where they spent most of their careers. Paul was a professor and coach. Jane worked in administration.
“They had more friends than I could possibly enumerate,” Somoza said. “They touched more lives than most people ever do.”
Mayer has decided to stand for how her parents lived their lives, and not how they died. The last two years she has depended a lot on her faith, which she said her parents instilled into her.
“I believe in mercy and grace but I also believe in consequences,” Mayer said. “Mercy and grace is up to God now.”
William Taylor worked in law enforcement for about six years in the 1990s, as a reserve officer for the Nampa Police Department and the Pocatello Police Department. He was a probation officer for a time and eventually became a teacher at West Middle School and a women’s basketball coach at Northwest Nazarene University.
He has three children, none of whom were present in court for his sentencing.
Wendy Coffman, Taylor’s first wife, spoke on her daughter’s behalf about the constant reminder she will have that three of the most important people in her life will no longer be there. Two weeks within the murder trial concluding she had her high school graduation. Coffman testified she knew her daughter was looking for William, Paul and Jane Taylor.
Taylor’s youngest children, two boys aged 12 and 8, whom he had with his second wife, Jennifer Beazer, have asked to have their last name changed, she testified. They don’t like talking about their father or looking at his photos anymore.
“They want to go fishing with Paul,” she said.
“There isn’t a single aspect of life that hasn’t been impacted by this crime,” Beazer said. “I wish I could tell you all of them today.”
In May, Beazer spoke with the Idaho Press about a domestic battery charge Taylor received involving her. The charge was pleaded down to disturbing the peace.
“The only way to guarantee this family is truly able to move on from these horrific events is if he gets fixed life in prison,” Somoza said.
She said even though Taylor’s parents did everything to help him, he still killed them “in the most horrific way imaginable.”
Taylor’s defense attorney, Ryan Dowell, requested there at least be an opportunity for parole. He cited that Taylor was not a career criminal and only had a misdemeanor DUI and disturbing the peace charge on his record.
Petty ultimately thought a fixed life sentence was warranted for the crimes. He gave Taylor a fixed life sentence for both first- and second-degree murder. He also gave Taylor two five-year prison sentences for failing to report the deaths, but those sentences will be served at the same time as his life sentence.
“You should spend the rest of your life behind bars,” Petty told Taylor at his sentencing recently at the Canyon County Courthouse.
A no-contact order for family members was issued for 60 years, which would make Taylor 110 years old by the time it expires.