Jury to decide domestic violence case

A Native American woman alleges she was repeatedly punched in the face and hit in the head with a baseball bat during a domestic violence incident in June.

Arrested June 27th in connection to the incident, convicted felon James Taylor, 63, of County Road G.2 now faces a January 21st jury trial on charges of assault to cause injury with a deadly weapon, felony menacing, false imprisonment, violent crime with a weapon and three counts as a habitual offender.

Former Montezuma County Sheriff Dep. Christopher Barry testified at an evidentiary hearing on Friday, Dec. 13, that the 43-year-old victim was “bashed in the head with a baseball bat” resulting in “significant head injuries.” He described the alleged assault as a “violent altercation.”

Court records state the victim was assaulted by Taylor, her ex-boyfriend and boss, about 9:30 p.m. on June 26, at the 7th Street rock yard. The victim was allegedly punched in the face three to five times while pinned down on a couch before being hit by a metal Louisville Slugger baseball bat in the forehead, records reveal.

Upon trying to escape, the victim told law enforcement that she was again repeatedly punched and poked in the face with the end of the bat as she was held prisoner inside a pickup truck. The victim said she was “scared for her life.”

Court records reveal the defendant stands nearly 10 inches taller and outweighs the victim by 65 pounds. A permanent civil restraining order was imposed in July, barring Taylor from having any contact with the victim.

Prior to District Court Judge Todd Plewe denying a defense motion to modify the protection order on Friday, District Attorney Will Furse said he expects to file additional charges upon learning that Taylor continues to have influence on the victim.

“The victim is employed by and currently lives in a home owned by the defendant’s family,” Furse said. “Mr. Taylor continues using his leverage on the victim, and the people have strong concerns over his ongoing manipulation.”

Free on a $50,000 bond since July, Taylor’s previous convictions date back to 1969, and include felony theft by receiving, distribution of a controlled substance and felony bail bond violations.

An annual statistical report from the Colorado Judicial Branch reveals that 91 domestic violence charges were filed in Montezuma County this year.