Defendant Asks for Separate Trial After Being Attacked

A murder defendant asked to have his case separated from his co-defendants’ cases after he was attacked.

The defendant, Jonathan Taylor, who wore a neck brace in court and struggled to make his way to the bench, was allegedly attacked by one of his co-defendants, his defense attorneys said. They said Taylor’s spine had been fractured.

Taylor is charged with second-degree murder along with Shakim Lyons, Harry James Herbert and James Coffield. The four men are accused of the alleged shooting of Dwayne Gene Dillard on July 4, 2015, on the 2600 block of Douglass Place SE.

In the aftermath of the homicide, in which an altercation between two groups of individuals escalated into a gun battle, Lyons, 28, arrived at an area hospital in critical condition with a gunshot wound in his right eye. A witness said Lyons and Taylor were on opposite sides of the shootout. The witness also said Herbert, 29, was firing at Taylor and another person on his side of the fight.

When the prosecution asked who the attacker was, one of Taylor’s defense attorneys responded “Lyons.”

The defense said they would file a motion for severance, so Taylor and his current co-defendants can have separate trials.

Taylor has already been found guilty for the murder of Dexter Motley in 2014. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison for 28-year-old Motley’s murder.

Taylor has a trial readiness hearing scheduled for May 25. The jury trial is scheduled to begin on July 9.