Accused Fairfield killer misses court date
BRIDGEPORT — A judge ordered $5 million in assets of James Taylor frozen after Taylor, who is currently under house arrest in his son’s home on homicide charges, failed to show up for a civil court hearing.
Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis granted a motion by Taylor’s stepson, Donald Garamella, to freeze his stepfather’s assets after Taylor did not show up for a hearing before the judge on Tuesday. Taylor is accused of trying to steal Garamella’s inheritance after allegedly killing his ex-wife, Garamella’s mother.
The judge also granted a temporary restraining order preventing Taylor from selling, transferring or disposing of any property.
On Wednesday, a local man sought an emergency court order to remove his three children who are living in the Fairfield home with Taylor.
“I’m scared for my children’s safety,” said Carlos Ramos.
Taylor could not be reached for comment. He is next scheduled to appear before a criminal court judge on June 17.
Last month, the 75-year-old Taylor, who is charged with murder, home invasion, criminal attempt to commit murder, first-degree burglary, illegal discharge of a firearm and third-degree assault, was freed from prison after his son, Bridgeport Board of Education member Chris Taylor, posted $2 million bond for his father.
The conditions of James Taylor’s release were that he wear a GPS monitoring device and remain in his son’s home on Bronson Road in Fairfield except for court appearances.
Taylor is accused of breaking into Garamella’s home on Catamount Road on Feb. 3 and fatally shooting ex-wife Catherine Taylor, 70, with a .22-caliber rifle. Police said he then attempted to shoot Garamella.
Taylor’s public defender has stated in court documents that he intends to argue the insanity defense for his client.
“Immediately upon entering the residence, defendant James C. Taylor aimed his rifle at me and fired a shot but missed,” Garamella states in a court affidavit. “Immediately thereafter, defendant James C. Taylor aimed his rifle at decedent Catherine Ann and fired a shot, striking her in the back of the head and causing catastrophic injuries which resulted in her death. Defendant James C. Taylor attempted to reload his rifle, but I tackled and pinned him down and attempted to disarm him; during the struggle, in an attempt to free himself, defendant James C. Taylor bit and scratched me.”
The affidavit continues that Garamella reached for his mother’s cell phone and dialed 911.
In a civil suit filed last month, Garamella claims that in April, James Taylor signed over Catherine Taylor’s property to himself with the help of his son, Chris Taylor. Chris Taylor then sold the property for $1 to a company called Ponderosa LLC, which he owns.
Garamella, in his suit against James and Chris Taylor, is asking a judge to reverse their actions taking the assets he says his mother meant for him to have.
None of this concerns Carlos Ramos.
He said he panicked when he read in the Connecticut Post that James Taylor had been ordered by a judge to live with Chris Taylor in Christ Taylor’s Fairfield home because his children live in that house, too.
Ramos was divorced in 2015 from his then-wife Stacy Annuzzi who is now Chris Taylor’s fiancée. Annuzzi attended the court hearings for James Taylor and helped arrange his release on bond. She walked with James Taylor, both their heads covered, from the Fairfield County Courthouse.
In court papers filed Wednesday, Ramos said Annuzzi and their three children, ages 6, 9 and 16, are living in the Bronson Road house with James Taylor, Chris Taylor and Chris Taylor’s mother, Teresa Black — all in a two-bedroom house.
“My children are living in an unsafe environment with an accused murderer,” Ramos complained. “My children are in this little house with people who are not mentally stable.”
He said he notified the Fairfield police and the state Department of Children and Families but has not heard of any decisions from those agencies.