A six-man, two-woman jury is expected to return a verdict Tuesday in the trial of a New York woman charged with kidnapping her estranged husband July 16, 1987.
The defendant, Ann G. Taylor, has claimed she was only rescuing her husband from relatives holding him against his will. But 80-year-old John Taylor testified on Monday that it was his wife who acted against his will when she kidnapped him.Under questioning from prosecuting attorney Charlene Barlow, a confused and feeble John Taylor at first had trouble remembering the alleged kidnapping or even the reason behind his court appearance. He said later, however, "I didn't want to go with Ann."
Taylor, who suffers from Parkinson's disease and sat in a wheelchair during his testimony, said he could remember little about July 16, 1987, or a subsequent trip to Colorado with his wife. But Taylor's sister, Nadine Ashby, testified that Ann Taylor and several accomplices forced John Taylor into a vehicle as he and Nadine left a Provo optometrist's office.
While two women prevented her from trying to help John Taylor, Ashby testified, "She (Ann Taylor) was shouting directions at these people. She just pushed his feet into the car, slammed the door and got in on the other side." She said John Taylor pleaded, "Don't let them take me. I want to stay."
Earlier, Provo Police Capt. George Pierpont testified Ann Taylor called police July 18, 1987, and admitted having retained help to "rescue" her husband from relatives. Other witnesses testified Ann Taylor had lost previous court battles to obtain custody of John Taylor.
Ashby testified her brother came to Provo from New York in July 1986 to recuperate from a prostate operation. She described him as "somewhat troubled." He later decided to stay in Provo and initiated divorce proceedings, Ashby said.
The divorce was granted earlier this year, but has since been appealed by Ann Taylor.
"It (was) his idea," she told defense attorney Gary Weight. "He said he (didn't) want to see her. I'm not telling anything that is not so."
Taylor testified, "Things changed in our relationship."
James L. Hopkins, a friend of the Taylors, characterized the couple's relationship in New York in 1986 as "extremely close, very warm." A second family friend, George Mortimer, said the couple had "a warm, loving, compatible relationship."
Both said they were shocked when they learned John Taylor had initiated divorce proceedings. Mortimer said he thought John Taylor's relatives in Provo were preventing him from seeing his wife.
"It became apparent that his relatives were not going to permit him to leave and join Ann," he said.