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Terre Haute man convicted of cold case killing of wife

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) – A Terre Haute man who served 25 years for the murder of his second wife was convicted Friday of killing his first wife.

Earl Taylor, 63, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 1975 slaying of 23-year-old Kathy Taylor.

Earl Taylor, now 63, told police on April 2, 1975, that he came home to find her dead in the bathtub with an electric clock radio submerged in the water.

But at trial, electrical engineering professor Clifford Grigg of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology testified the appliance did not have enough voltage to electrocute anyone. And forensic pathologist Dr. Roland Kohr testified that Kathy Taylor likely drowned after being held face-down in a bathtub in the couple’s rural Vigo County home.

Deputy Prosecutor Rob Roberts said in his closing argument that Earl Taylor had “30,000 reasons for Kathy to die,” referring to the value of a life insurance policy that he tried to take out on the woman he had married in 1973.

Defense attorney Dennis Majewski, however, said the insurance policy was never issued, giving Taylor no reason to hope for financial gain from his wife’s death.

Bonnie Dean, Kathy Taylor’s sister, said the family has known for 41 years that Earl Taylor killed her, and the verdict gives it closure.

Taylor was convicted in 1988 of killing his second wife, Mindy, whose body was recovered in 1987 from her submerged car in a pond. He was released from prison in January 2014 and re-arrested the following July after a renewed investigation into the death of Kathy Taylor.

Taylor is due to be sentenced March 9 in Vigo Superior Court.

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