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Mistrial declared, Troy Taylor pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter

Troy Taylor testified in his trial on murder charges. (WWMT)
Troy Taylor testified in his trial on murder charges. (WWMT)
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The judge overseeing the murder trial of a Bloomingdale man who said he shot in self-defense declared a mistrial Thursday. The defendant, Troy Taylor, entered a guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter shortly after the mistrial declaration.

Prosecutors added the charge of voluntary manslaughter in the case after the mistrial was declared. Prosecutors offered Taylor a deal of voluntary manslaughter with a maximum seven years prison with all other charges dismissed.

Taylor accepted the deal and plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter less than an hour after the mistrial was declared.

Taylor's attorney said his client told him and his family that he “didn’t want to put his kids through this again.”

Sentencing was set for Feb. 11, 2019. During that hearing, Taylor’s attorney will have a chance to argue for less prison time.

The mistrial was declared after jurors spent the whole day in deliberations, reporting to the court shortly after 4 p.m. that they could not reach a consensus.

Tim Henley, 40, was shot three times June 21, 2018, in the front yard of a Gobles, Michigan, home. The shooting occurred after Henley pounded on Troy Taylor's car and windows, breaking out the driver's side window. That's when the shots were fired.

Henley died of the wounds. Taylor, 38, fled the scene but was arrested five days later and eventually charged with murder.

During testimony Wednesday, prosecutors revealed that the gun used in the shooting belonged to Taylor's stepfather, who owns a gun collection.

Taylor was last to take the stand during trial testimony. Taylor said he and Tim Henley had been friends for about 22 years, but the two fell out due to an altercation over money about 18 months before Henley was shot to death.

Taylor is claiming self defense in the shooting, and said during testimony that he believed Henley had something in his hand. Taylor said he was trying to protect his children who were in the car with him.

"I watched him hit the hood and then I was looking in my rear-view mirror but all I could see was [my daughter]. She was up in the seat," Taylor said. "And then I went to look out my passenger side mirror but all I could see was [my son]—he was plastered up against the door."

During the first day of testimony, Taylor's children, who were in his car at the time of the shooting, said their father fired after the window was broken.

The children said the window broke after Henley’s third punch. That’s why, the children said, that Taylor pulled out a gun and shot Henley three times.


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CORRECTION: This article was edited to correct the charge; Troy Taylor pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter shortly after a mistrial was declared.

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