Slava Novorossiya

Slava Novorossiya

Friday, February 26, 2016


            On this date, February 26, 2014, Michael Anthony Taylor was executed by lethal injection by the State of Missouri, his partner-in-crime, Roderick Nunley was executed on September 1, 2015. They were both convicted of the March 22, 1989 rape and murder of 15 year old Ann Harrison.


 Michael Anthony Taylor

Ann Marie Harrison
(February 22, 1974 to March 22, 1989)

Michael Taylor (January 30, 1967 – February 26, 2014) was a Missouri prison inmate on death row, convicted of raping and murdering 15-year-old Ann Harrison after abducting her from a school bus stop in Raytown, Missouri on March 22, 1989. Taylor was aided by Roderick Nunley, who was executed on September 1, 2015 after three Supreme Court issued orders denying a stay of execution for Roderick Nunley, who was 50 years old. The appeals pending before the Court questioned the constitutionality of the death penalty, the sentencing of Nunley before a jury rather than a judge, and the secrecy of the state of Missouri in acquiring the drug used to perform the execution.

Taylor was scheduled to be executed February 1, 2006, but was granted a stay by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, on the grounds that lethal injection in his case could be cruel and unusual punishment. Missouri asked the Supreme Court to vacate the stay, allowing the execution. Justice Samuel Alito, in his first official act on the Supreme Court, voted with the majority (6–3) to refuse Missouri's request. Alito's vote made headlines because he did not vote with Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts, said to be the conservative wing of the court.

Taylor was subsequently executed on February 26, 2014 after last minute appeals questioning the reliability of Missouri's new, unnamed supplier of the execution drug pentobarbital were turned down, becoming the fourth person to receive the death penalty in Missouri in four months.

Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Kidnapping - Rape
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: January 24, 1995
Date of birth: January 30, 1967
Victim profile: Ann Harrison, 15
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Raytown, Jackson County, Missouri, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on May 14, 1991. Executed by lethal injection in Missouri on February 26, 2014

On the evening of March 21, 1989, Michael Taylor and companion Roderick Nunley stole a car and binged on cocaine. At about 7:00 a.m. on March 22, they saw 15-year-old Ann Harrison waiting for the school bus at the end of her driveway. Taylor allegedly stated he wanted to steal the girl’s purse, and Nunley, who was driving, stopped the car. Taylor spoke to the girl and then grabbed her and forced her into the car. Ann screamed and found her attackers but they threatened to kill her if she didn't stop. Nunley then drove to this mother’s house where Ann was taken out of the car and forced to crawl down to the basement. Taylor then raped the girl. In his confession, Taylor stated that Nunley also raped Ann Harrison but only Taylor's DNA was recovered. After the assault, the two men forced Ann into the trunk of the stolen car and tied her up. After Taylor stated he was afraid the girl would identify him, the two men decided to kill her. Ann at first refused to get in the trunk and pleaded with the men not to kill her, offering them money from her parents if they would let her go. They pretended to agree with her suggestion and told her they would take her to a pay phone so she could call her parents, but instead, Nunley retrieved two knives from the kitchen and both men stabbed Ann. Nunley knew Ann Harrison was going to die from her wounds. The former county medical examiner testified the victim was stabbed 10 times and she died approximately 30 minutes later. The men drove to a nearby neighborhood and parked the car, leaving Ann in the trunk. That night, Ann's parents, Bob and Janel pleaded on local television news for their daughter to be safely returned. Nunley gave a videotaped confession to the police. Nunley was also sentenced to death for his role in this crime.  UPDATE: In an interview shortly before his execution, Michael Anthony Taylor said he had written a letter to Ann Harrison’s parents and that a prison official assured him it would be offered to them. In the letter, Taylor said, he expressed “my sincerest apology and heartfelt remorse. I hope that they’ll accept it.” After the execution, Governor Jay Nixon released this statement: “Our thoughts and prayers tonight are with Bob and Janel Harrison, and the other members of Ann Harrison's family, as they remember the 15-year-old child they lost to an act of senseless violence.” Friends and members of both the Harrison and Taylor families witnessed the execution. Among the state witnesses was retired Kansas City homicide Sgt. Dave Bernard, who was an investigator on the case. Taylor’s death came a little less than a month short of the 25th anniversary of Ann’s killing. Ann's father, Bob Harrison, attended the execution, but did not want to make a statement afterward.

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