Archive for Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Former CLO employee found not guilty

Trial ends in acquittal on six charges, hung jury on two others

June 21, 2006


A jury Tuesday cleared a former group-home worker of most of the abuse charges against him and failed to agree on a verdict on the remaining counts.

Jurors deliberated four hours in District Court before finding Dustin D. Taylor, 21, not guilty of six counts and reaching a "hung jury" on the remaining two counts. It's not yet known whether prosecutors will seek to try him again for the charges on which jurors couldn't agree.

Taylor was one of two men charged with abusing a mentally disabled man last summer at Ponderosa House, a group home operated by Community Living Opportunities.

"We thought all along that the state didn't have a strong case and that his conduct was not worthy of charges," said Paul Davis, Taylor's attorney. "What happened really was an employee that was trying to do a difficult job and doing the best he could under some difficult circumstances."

Prosecutors alleged Taylor abused the 57-year-old man in two separate incidents last summer.

¢ Jurors found Taylor not guilty of all charges related to a June 17, 2005, incident in which prosecutors alleged he failed to use a "gait belt" to lift the man off the ground. Taylor testified he wasn't trained to use the belt.

¢ Jurors found Taylor not guilty of two charges related to a June 28, 2005, incident in which he allegedly lifted the man from a chair by his armpits and squeezed his cheeks together. They failed to reach a verdict on two of the counts related to that incident.

Davis said he simply didn't believe the facts of the case fit the criminal laws Taylor was charged with breaking. The laws speak to intentionally inflicting injury, depriving needed care, confining a person unreasonably or touching someone in a "rude, insulting or angry" manner.

"Some actions we may deem as somewhat inappropriate, but they are not criminal," Davis said. "His position required him to have a great deal of physical contact with this resident."

Even though there were only two incidents, jurors had eight total charges to consider. In each incident, they could have found him guilty of one of four things: battery, or one of three kinds of "mistreatment of a dependent adult."

Paul Davis, attorney for Dustin D. Taylor, reacts to the jury verdict


The case was prosecuted by the Kansas Attorney General's Office. Because of the way the charges were structured, there could be double-jeopardy concerns that prevent Taylor from being tried again for the charges on which jurors couldn't agree.

Judge Michael Malone asked Deputy Atty. Gen. Rex Beasley whether his office wanted to try the case again, assuming it legally could.

"I'm not in a position to answer that," Beasley said.

Another man, Eric S. Wyatt, 34, is scheduled to stand trial later this summer for charges related to the same resident.


emtid4u 11 years, 9 months ago

Mr. Kline I hope you will be more resonsible with your authority and the taxpayers money.

You should be ashamed for the hardship, pain and suffering you caused this young man and his family. As should your investigator Mr. Harshaw. The two of you have shown a fantastic example of how easy it is to abuse the statutes for personal gain. Cruel election year antics.

You lack good morals. You attack the weak for your own Glory. If you are responsible you will prosecute the cause, Mike Strouse and the rest of his administration for their obvious wrong doing. You are both poor excuses for n Law Enforcement Officers and as the Chief Law Enforcemnt Officer's organization of our Great State of Kansas. You need to be held to a much higher standard than the average Police Agency. I can't Larry Welch would not have allowed this to be prosecuted. I know the Douglas County Attorney wasn't going to prosecute. I guess he could prosecute Mr. Harshaw and hope he does.

I would like to know if Mr.Morrison would have prosecuted this case??

Mr. Kline you should pay out of your own pocket the costs the taxpayers spent in this case. If you are honerable you will. I will assume you to be without honor.

Both of you need to pay restitution to Dustin Dean Taylor.

Phil Kline you need to be brought befor an Ethics commity for abuse of your powers.

Mr. Harshaw you need to be prosecuted unlawful arrest and be brought befor the Kansas Law Enforcement Commission. I know for a fact you were tought better at K.L. E.T.C. I know I was. I also know you were tought the consequences of poor judgement. The Law Enforcement Commission should revoke your Certification.

ljlook 11 years, 9 months ago

Hey emtid4u,

This poor young man that was harrassed by "the man" was just some little punk who got off on hurting others. I'm sure you would think he was innocent if it was your father/mother, or yourself who was hurt by this jerk.

Go light a candle and do a vigil somewhere, and stop acting like the government is always out to get everyone.

monkeyspunk 11 years, 9 months ago


Congrats, you have just won the "monkey humping a foot ball" award for the worst response ever to a comment!

Emtid4u is (or was) 'the man'! He went to KLETC.

No where in his comment did he talk about Government in general going out to get someone. He cited two very specific officers of the state.

And as for "if it was your father/morther" being hurt by this "jerk" who "got off on hurting others", did you READ the article?

Seriously, your head is so far up your rear end, you are on a first name basis with your colon.

buddaman 11 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.