Maylene man pleads guilty to manslaughter in wife’s death

Published 10:51 am Tuesday, April 1, 2014

By CASSANDRA MICKENS / Associate Editor

COLUMBIANA — A Maylene man on April 1 admitted to having a hand in the 2011 death of his wife and could spend up to 20 years in prison.



Derrick Dewayne Taylor, 46, who now resides in Fairview, pleaded guilty to manslaughter under an agreement with prosecutors in the May 2011 death of his wife, 33-year-old Denise Harris Taylor. Dressed in a striped button down shirt and jeans, Taylor was accompanied by his attorney, Eric Lance Guster.  Assistant Shelby County District Attorney Tonya Willingham said evidence shows Taylor stabbed his wife with a knife and hit her in the head with an aluminum baseball bat.

Taylor was initially charged with murder after police discovered Denise Harris Taylor dead at the couple’s home in the 100 block of Grande View Lane on May 10, 2011.

Police responded to the residence after receiving a 911 call from one of the couple’s children who discovered the couple unconscious.

Alabaster Police Chief Curtis Rigney said in a previous report that the incident stemmed from a domestic altercation, and the couple was in the process of finalizing a divorce. Rigney also said Taylor had “no serious injuries whatsoever” when police discovered him.

Taylor was transported to the Shelby County Jail, and eventually released on $250,000 bond.

Taylor’s sentencing is scheduled for May 28 before Shelby County Circuit Judge Dan Reeves, who accepted his guilty plea.