Accused wife killer claims emotional disturbance defense
BRIDGEPORT — Free on $2 million bond posted by his son, James Taylor chatted with marshals and other people as he appeared in court Wednesday.
“So nice to see you again,” he called out to marshals who last week had escorted him handcuffed into the same courtroom.
His lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Jared Millbrandt, confirmed that he has filed notice that he intends to claim his 75-year-old client, accused of fatally shooting his ex-wife and attempting to kill her son in their Fairfield home, suffered from a “ mental disease or defect,” and “extreme emotional disturbance,” at the time of the crime.
At a hearing on Wednesday, Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Corradino urged Superior Court Judge Joan Alexander to order that Taylor pay for his own GPS monitoring.
“During a telephone conversation with his son while he was still in jail, he told his son that his Social Security had increased with the untimely death of his wife,” Corradino said.
Millbrandt countered that he heard about the conversation but believes Social Security funds are not included when determining if a defendant is indigent.
The judge agreed but did order Taylor to pay the $5 a week fee for the tracking device.
Taylor is charged with murder, home invasion, criminal attempt to commit murder, first-degree burglary, illegal discharge of a firearm and third-degree assault for allegedly fatally shooting his ex-wife.
Police said that around 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 3, James Taylor broke into the home of his stepson, Donald Garamella, 45, on Catamount Road and fatally shot Catherine Taylor, 70, with a .22-caliber rifle. He was attempting to reload and shoot Garamella when, police said, the younger man tackled Taylor and managed to get the gun away.
Last week a judge allowed Taylor to go free after his son, city Board of Education member Chris Taylor, posted his father’s bond through a bail bondsman.
The conditions of the elder Taylor’s freedom are that he wear a GPS monitoring anklet and must live in his son’s home on Bronson Road in Fairfield. He can only leave the home for court appearances, doctor’s visits and to get a haircut.
He appeared in court Wednesday dressed in khaki pants and a dark-blue polo-type shirt.