The Missouri Supreme
Court has set a Feb. 1, 2006, execution date for a man who pleaded
guilty to killing a Kansas City teenager more than 15 years ago.
38, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, forcible rape, armed criminal
action and kidnapping for the March 1989 killing of Ann Harrison.
Court documents state
that Ann, 15, was waiting for her school bus when Taylor and his
accomplice, Roderick Nunley, forced her into their stolen vehicle.
According to court
records, Taylor raped Harrison in Nunley's mother's basement and Nunley
facilitated the rape and then helped Nunley kill her because they were
afraid she would identify them.
Nunley entered guilty
pleas to first degree murder, for which he was sentenced to death; armed
criminal action; kidnapping; and forcible rape. Nunley pleaded guilty to
the four charged offenses without a sentencing recommendation from the
state, which had indicated it would seek the death penalty even if he
Both were sentenced to
death in 1991 and then, after their sentences were overturned, were
again sentenced to death in 1994.
(born January 30, 1967) is a Missouri prison inmate on death row,
convicted of raping and murdering 15-year-old Ann Harrison after
abducting her from a school bus stop in Raytown, Missouri on March 22,
Taylor was aided by Roderick Nunley, also currently
on Missouri's death row for the same crime. Taylor and Nunley, by their
own admissions in court, were under the influence of crack cocaine at
the time of the crime.
Taylor was scheduled to be executed February 1, 2006,
but was granted a stay of execution by the United States Court of
Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The stay was issued on the grounds that
lethal injection in Taylor's case could be cruel and unusual punishment.
Missouri asked the Supreme Court to vacate the stay,
allowing the execution. Justice Samuel Alito, in his first official act
on the Supreme Court, voted with the majority (6-3) to refuse Missouri's
request. Alito's vote made headlines because he did not vote with
Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts,
said to be the conservative wing of the court.
Missouri v. Michael Taylor
929 S.W.2d 209 (Mo.banc
After using drugs, Roderick Nunley and Michael Taylor stole a car. While
driving the car, the two men spotted a fifteen-year old girl waiting for
her school bus.
Taylor allegedly stated he wanted to
steal the girlís purse, and Nunley, who was driving, stopped the car.
Taylor spoke to the girl and then grabbed her and forced her into the
car. Nunley then drove to his motherís house.
The girl was taken out of the car and
forced to crawl down to the basement. Taylor then raped the girl. At
some point, Nunley gave Taylor some lubricant to facilitate the forced
sexual intercourse. After the assault, the two men forced the girl into
the trunk of the stolen car and tied her up.
After Taylor stated he was afraid the
girl would identify him, the two men decided to kill the girl. Nunley
retrieved two knives from the kitchen and both men stabbed the girl.
Nunley knew the girl was going to die from her wounds. (The former
county medical examiner testified the victim was stabbed ten times and
she died approximately thirty minutes later.)
The men drove to a nearby neighborhood
and parked the car, leaving the girl in the trunk. Nunley gave a
videotaped confession to the police.