Jurors in the trial of a New York woman charged with kidnapping her estranged husband were scheduled to resume deliberations Wednesday after being unable to reach a verdict Tuesday night.
Fourth District Judge J. Robert Bullock dismissed the six-man, two-woman jury at about 9:30 p.m., four hours after deliberations began in the trial of Ann G. Taylor.Public defender Gary Weight, who earlier Tuesday said his client was guilty only of "love in the first degree," expressed optimism Taylor would be found not guilty. Taylor is charged with second-degree felony kidnapping in the July 16, 1987, abduction of her husband, John Max Taylor.
Ann Taylor, who took the stand Tuesday in her own defense, said her husband was kept in Provo against his will after he arrived from New York for a two-week visit with his sister, Nadine Ashby, in July 1986. She said members of her husband's family prevented her from seeing John Taylor and that they convinced him to initiate divorce proceedings.
"He never told me he wanted a divorce. He was not allowed to be alone with me, which I found very strange," she said. "He's been held incommunicado from everyone who wants to see him."
Ann Taylor said she felt her husband "was under their control. He reacted in a manner that made me think he was not free to act and say what he wanted to."
John Taylor, who had trouble recalling the alleged kidnapping during a court appearance Monday, has been diagnosed as having Parkinson's disease.
Ann Taylor, whose testimony contradicted testimony by eyewitnesses to the alleged kidnapping, said her husband went with her willingly.
"It was not a kidnapping," she said. "He said to me, `Please help me get away from her (Ashby).' I helped him do it."
Taylor said she went with her husband to Colorado for a day before returning to the Provo area. "He was like a new man. It was like he was liberated."
Ashby testified that she and family members never prevented her brother from leaving. Ann Taylor simply didn't want to accept the fact her husband no longer wanted to be with her, said former Deputy County Attorney Charlene Barlow, now with the attorney general's office.
Attorney Richard Johnson, who met with the Taylors two days after the alleged kidnapping, said the couple held hands and that John appeared "totally lucid." Johnson quoted John Taylor as saying, "I don't want anything to happen that will take me away from Ann."
In closing arguments, Weight said Ann Taylor returned to Provo as soon as she found out a warrant had been issued for her arrest. Had she been a kidnapper, he said, she would have fled.
"She came to Utah to be reunited with him (John Taylor), and there is simply no criminal intent in that," Weight said. "She wanted to be united with the love of her life. Ann Taylor is not guilty except of love in the first degree."