Taylor and His Guns | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Taylor and His Guns

A young man who was mentored by Mayor Frank Melton is out of jail, though he was arrested only months ago for carjacking, a felony. Michael Taylor has lived off and on with Melton for years at his north Jackson home.

Taylor was arrested in December 2005 for robbing Headliners Barbershop at gunpoint, allegedly with the assistance of Wood Street Lawn Service owner Frederica Brunson, aka Jermaine Butler. Taylor was a minor at that time, but because he used a weapon to commit a felony, he was charged as an adult.

However, in his guilty plea, Brunson claimed that he had the gun, while Taylor was unarmed.

"Once Brunson admitted to (having) the firearm, (Taylor) had to go back to youth court," District Attorney Faye Peterson told the Jackson Free Press.

Circuit Court Judge Swan Yerger transferred Taylor's armed robbery charge to youth court last May.

Taylor was allegedly among youths Melton directed to demolish a duplex at 1305 Ridgeway Street on Aug. 26, 2006, but he was never charged because he acted under Melton's direction.

In November 2006, Taylor was arrested for stealing a woman's vehicle and attempting to sell the car back to her for $300, using the victim's own stolen cell phone. A Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks officer nabbed Taylor before the exchange. When he was arrested, Taylor gave his home address as "2 Carter's Grove," Melton's address.

Taylor was 17 at the time of that incident, so he was charged as an adult. A municipal court judge set his bond at $250,000. Taylor was out of jail as of last month, though it is not clear whether his bond was paid or who paid it.

"We thought he was still in custody on the carjacking charge, but someone must have paid his bond," Peterson said.

Taylor has recently appeared at City Hall, following after Melton, Wright and Recio as they enter or leave the building, and Melton brought the youth with him to a June press conference celebrating the renovation of the King Edward Hotel.

Peterson said the carjacking charge still stands, and her office is waiting on the police investigation to possibly bring Taylor before a grand jury.

Melton told The Clarion-Ledger that he is keeping "a close eye" on Taylor.

Even as Melton made that pledge, Taylor's MySpace Web site featured him posing with three weapons: a shotgun, a revolver and an SKS with banana clip and bayonet. The SKS is a semi-automatic civilian version of the AK-47. In one photograph—recently removed from the page—Taylor aims a loaded revolver at the photographer, with his finger inside the trigger guard.

Previous Comments

ID
67828
Comment

Well, I'm trying to figure out why WAPT edited their report on Taylor and the victims family from 6pm to 10pm? In the earlier story they left in a lot of quotes from Melton that are horrible. He explains the crime and the drug deal so well it makes you think he was there. I find it appalling that he would take the side of the dope dealers, and then paint her as a drug user. And, he says that basically it is her fault for being caucasian and going to buy dope in the black neighborhoods. Though he may be partially correct that white and black people buy drugs in the inner city, that doesn't mean your thug 16 year old should point a weapon in her face and threaten to rape her while stealing her car. Yeah, he's just a little lost Melton. But, he found his way into your home and that makes it all alright! But, Melton and Taylor's version of what happened doesn't add up because you don't enlist the help of law enforcement if you are involved in a drug deal gone wrong. I can't believe the Dept. of Wildlife is just letting this go. Gas to get intown - $10.00 Bag of crack rock - $25.00 Buying your car back after the drug dearler steals it - $300 Being called a crackhead by the Mayor Melton on TV - priceless! (just ask your attorney!)

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-06-28T06:55:13-06:00
ID
67829
Comment

It's remarkable that Melton is showing that he is believing the story over the troubled men in his house rather than the victim's. And, yes, it was something to accuse the victim of being there to buy crack. Even if she was -- which we have no evidence -- how does that somehow negate anything Mr. Taylor is accused of??? I really cannot believe that the state allows him to take in all these young men. His sense of right and wrong is so incredibly warped, and biased beyond all logic. Good point on the Department of Wildlife. It sounds like JPD has refused to do a thing about this case, and that is why the charges were lessened. Just imagine a world in which Melton has his own D.A. and sheriff. Or just his own D.A., which is the position we should all be worried about.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-06-28T07:18:55-06:00
ID
67830
Comment

Those photos are a prime example of Melton's lack of training. That criminal is the poster child for Melton and guns. There.Will.Be.An.Accident. Not if, but when.

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2007-06-28T07:50:30-06:00
ID
67831
Comment

You do wonder what house, with a security system and an upstairs, that they were shot in, huh? This is really scary stuff. I feel sorry for Mr. Taylor; he is clearly not getting the kind of help he needs.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-06-28T07:53:16-06:00
ID
67832
Comment

Remember this is a man who was going to shut down gun shows, and he can't even express outrage about how/where Taylor got his hands on those guns when he was, supposedly, 15!?!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-06-28T07:55:05-06:00
ID
67833
Comment

Good point on the Department of Wildlife. It sounds like JPD has refused to do a thing about this case, and that is why the charges were lessened. ladd You mean to say that JPD might not be doing their job and that contributes to rising crime rate? Who'd a thunk it? Since you can't post sections of pdf's to sum up the report from the Hinds Co DA's office: Since Jan of 2006 the Jackson Police Department has sent back 318 cases for further investigation so the case can actually go before a Grand Jury. Of those only 158 have actually been re-investigated and sent back to the DA. Anyone wonder if M Taylor is one of those cases? Or what about the youths Melton "protects" that we don't readily know about? Remember the guy he kept at the hotel by his house until he stole a car and fled? Tolley says the police may be taking undue time in trying to get his car back: “I don’t think they’re trying very hard.” Officer Derrick Hern, of JPD auto theft, said his agency had not yet received Tolley’s report from the officer making the report, even though it was made last week. Hern suggested the JFP speak to his supervisor Sgt. Jeremiah Jones. Jones did not return calls Damn your Good Chief Anderson!

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-06-28T07:55:20-06:00
ID
67834
Comment

Oh and to Pike: It seems that Melton jumps at the chance to blame a woman. Look at his treatment of Margaret Barrett-Simon now. I hear more people in North Jackson are being outraged, as they should be. One does wonder, though, where they were when he was using Christopher Walker to trash Faye Peterson in the most disgusting way possible. The writing is on the wall, folks. And at the risk of repeating myself, he does not need his own D.A. and sheriff. Please listen to us this time.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-06-28T07:57:30-06:00
ID
67835
Comment

"Remember this is a man who was going to shut down gun shows, and he can't even express outrage about how/where Taylor got his hands on those guns when he was, supposedly, 15!?!" Good point. But wait... Didn't he say that (banning gun shows) wasn't true on the Paul Gallo show? I know a certain person who has an audio tape to prove otherwise.

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2007-06-28T07:59:02-06:00
ID
67836
Comment

True, Pike, it's hard to imagine a worse leader for the JPD -- unless you're Melton, I suppose. I still can't believe The Clarion-Ledger has given her such a pass, after their treatment of the last chief who, uh, knew how to do his job, and was seeing progress. Of course, they would have to admit how wrong they were, so they're tiptoeing through that minefield, the future of the city be damned. Shirlene needs to go. Make her an assistant chief or something and get something in there who can straighten this department out.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-06-28T08:00:15-06:00
ID
67837
Comment

If he said that on Gallo, it was a lie (imagine). Of course, I have it on tape. He knows I had a tape recorder on me both times we were on the ride-along. He just doesn't think anyone cares about him lying. He had good reason to believe that, considering the free ride the media gave him before we came along.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-06-28T08:01:32-06:00
ID
67838
Comment

Yes, he could have taken this woman under his wing and then gone back and busted the DRUG DEALERS with her help. But, no! He just goes with the story the kids give him and blames the victim - a woman! He even tries to say they should both be in jail next to each other. Well, I guess he missed his chance to make that happen? Outrage is an understatement! And, it is picking up steam.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-06-28T08:03:16-06:00
ID
67839
Comment

When asked about banning gun shows at the fairgrounds on Gallo: Melton: "There are some people who are putting that out there and it's just not true...."

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2007-06-28T08:06:24-06:00
ID
67840
Comment

"You do wonder what house, with a security system and an upstairs, that they were shot in, huh?" Yeah, that's a mighty spiffy house to be in the hood.

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2007-06-28T08:07:36-06:00
ID
67841
Comment

Something I hadn't thought of is that Shirlene may have told Melton if he demotes her or brings in another Chief, that she will sing like a canary to the Feds and whoever else will listen. That is one thing that is protecting her. The fact that she can talk, and seek immunity, once Melton goes down. Not that I am hoping her incompetency pays off for her.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-06-28T08:08:04-06:00
ID
67842
Comment

It's just hard to fathom that his brainwashed followers can still make excuses for him. If that was going on in the Harvey Johnson's house, they'd squeal with disgust.

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2007-06-28T08:15:16-06:00
ID
67843
Comment

Funny thing is... This is just the type of thug his brainwashed followers hate. I mean, that's HIM. Their worst nightmare: A black teenager with a gun pointed at them.

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2007-06-28T08:19:23-06:00
ID
67844
Comment

For the record, I don't consider Michael Taylor a "thug." He is clearly a young man in need of direction and mentors who don't excuse away criminal behavior, or play with guns in front of him. As for your comment about Shirlene, Pike, I will only say that I believe this is very complicated web that took years to weave. A lot of people are caught in it one way or another for whatever reason.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-06-28T09:03:05-06:00
ID
67845
Comment

Pike, thanks so much for the links. I know someone who can't stand Peterson but doesn't really know why because it's just based on other people's comments. Now I can give the person something to make an informed decision with.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-06-28T09:05:26-06:00
ID
67846
Comment

"For the record, I don't consider Michael Taylor a "thug." He is clearly a young man in need of direction and mentors who don't excuse away criminal behavior, or play with guns in front of him." I know that, but Melton's followers do. That was my point.

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2007-06-28T09:43:59-06:00
ID
67847
Comment

Ok, I am a bit lost here and I'm curious about a few things, and hopefully the truth seekers at JFP can help. 1. Is this Michael Taylor still living at Melton's house? 2. Taylor was let out of jail from bond, is there any list kept that is accessible to the public so the public can know who is providing bonds for released criminals? And Ladd, why isn't this guy a "thug". He's pictured himself with guns on his myspace page and has been arrested at least twice with firearms involved.

Author
GLewis
Date
2007-06-28T11:32:57-06:00
ID
67848
Comment

Michael Taylor is also listed as being 19 years old on the 'My Space' page. And, the page was revised on both the 14th and 24th of June. Thus, there was opportunity to remove the photographs prior to the report they were there. His age at the time they were taken is not nearly as relevant to me as the fact that they were posted and the fact that he is obviously able to access loaded weapons. It appears to be Melton's home in the photographs and this is very disturbing. This behavior of Taylor's is much more troubling than some applying labels to him. Not just his behavior but also that of his 'mentor' and chief apologist. The recent events at Virginia Tech should teach us all that the need to pose with weapons should be taken seriously and that probably the proper place for Taylor is in Whitfield having a complete mental evaluation. If he was not released on bond, then how was he released? Can a Judge order a mental evaluation of Taylor based on the photographs? Or a more proper question might be: Should a Judge order a mental evaluation of Taylor?

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2007-06-28T12:08:53-06:00
ID
67849
Comment

Chris, as a mental health advocate, I agree with the recommendation of a mental evaluation. Those pictures foreshadow things to come if someone doesn't step in. Obviously, whatever is being done right now to "help" him isn't working. I'd like to take a wild guess as to who posted bond for Taylor, but I'm leaving that alone.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-06-28T12:34:46-06:00
ID
67850
Comment

Y'all man... don't be hatin'! Mikey T. is just "hard" that is all. He ain't mental. He's "Real!" BTW: Who is the young man with him?

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-06-28T12:47:59-06:00
ID
67851
Comment

Ray - I mean, Pike - I was wondering who the other guy was myself.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-06-28T12:51:32-06:00
ID
67852
Comment

Sorry to say it, but clearly some people don't want to be saved, Donna. If Melton is puttig this guy up in his house, giving him money to live, then that's a better life right there. Young men like that make the decision to go back to their neighborhood, buy more drugs to sell, and live the "thug life". It seems that Melton's problem is letting go od the nuckle heads that are using and lying to him. People make their own decisions and in this case, I believe that Micheal Taylor is a lost cause.

Author
Melishia
Date
2007-06-28T13:09:53-06:00
ID
67853
Comment

I hope he isn't, Melishia, but clearly he's on a bad path, with Melton's assistance.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-06-28T13:16:29-06:00
ID
67854
Comment

Melishia, you have a point. You can't make someone act like they have some sense if he doesn't want to, especially if he thinks he has nothing to live for in the first place.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-06-28T13:40:36-06:00
ID
67855
Comment

I grew up with most of these guys, and they want to live that way. They all have (or has had) the chance to live a different way, but selling crack and stealing cars make fast cash. They grew up around uncles and cousins that sold drugs, got away with it, and lived in really nice houses (or apartments) in upstanding Jackson neighborhoods. They want to be like the only role models they ever had, drug dealers. We all know that Melton claims to be a role model, but for most of the guys that he is trying to help, he is no more than a free ride (i.e. Christopher Walker, a grown man that used him and still ended up behind bars). His house is a cool place to hang while the "block is hot" and when "work" comes calling, their right back on the streets again. Micheal Taylor (and young men like him) are hell bent on living the street life. I don't think that Frank Melton (or any of our hopes) will ever change that.

Author
Melishia
Date
2007-06-28T14:04:02-06:00
ID
67856
Comment

Melishia, well then do you think melton is a naive dupe when it comes to taylor,walker and other young men?or, is he somehow part of the game?

Author
chimneyville
Date
2007-06-28T15:27:53-06:00
ID
67857
Comment

Can't really tell, but either way, he is naive. To actually defend young men when they've done wrong is stupid. A father figure would not allow his son to get away with some of the things that Melton allow his "sons" to get away with. I think he is a big push over when it comes to these guys. He talks tough but he really isn't.

Author
Melishia
Date
2007-06-28T15:33:01-06:00
ID
67858
Comment

"A father figure would not allow his son to get away with some of the things that Melton allow his "sons" to get away with." Melishia You Go Girl! Truer words were never spoken! Guess what I am trying to understand is: Does Melton know about the drug involvement?

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2007-06-28T15:38:03-06:00
ID
67859
Comment

Of course he knows, he just ignores it. By ignoring it, he makes matters worse.

Author
Melishia
Date
2007-06-28T15:51:21-06:00
ID
67860
Comment

This picture brings back memories of being a victim of an attempted purse snatching in Kroger I-55 parking lot 5 years ago. All you see is the gun in your face. Last weekend, I was awakened by 4 gunshots at 12:30 a.m. Witness said dark SUV slowly pulled up to my Belhaven 4-plex, got out and shot 4 times into the air. He got back in and left with lights off and unreadable tag. I am a strong woman but these kind of pictures of one of "Melton's Boys" make the nightmares want to raise their ugly head! Things are very scary for my beloved Jackson!

Author
Bourree'
Date
2007-06-28T16:36:37-06:00
ID
67861
Comment

"The SKS is a semi-automatic civilian version of the AK-47." Not quite. The SKS and the AK-47 are two entirely different rifles. They do fire the same 7.62x39mm round, but in appearance and operation are completely different. Both the SKS and the semi-automatic versions of the AK-47 are available to civilians without a Class III license.

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2007-06-29T09:27:25-06:00
ID
67862
Comment

We should not forget the pictures of Lee Harvey Oswald posing with his weapons prior to his acts of murder.

Author
Willezurmacht
Date
2007-06-29T10:35:07-06:00
ID
67863
Comment

Great point willez!!

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-06-29T18:17:17-06:00

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