Summary of Offense: Convicted and sentenced to death for the March 27, 1991 murder of Donna Ponsano during a robbery at Cajun's Fabulous Fried Chicken in Baton Rouge.

At 7:00 a.m., Keith Clark, the restaurant's manager, arrived to assist Ponsano in opening for business. Taylor, who had been fired by Clark about two weeks previously for poor performance, knocked at the front door. He and Clark were still friendly, so Clark allowed him inside. Taylor related that he was experiencing financial problems and asked Clark to rehire him. Clark refused, but assisted the defendant in searching for another job by giving him money to buy a newspaper and sitting with him in a restaurant booth to review classified job advertisements. Clark found that a local Popeye's restaurant was seeking a cook, and called to recommend the defendant for the job. Clark continued with his morning routine, and the defendant helped by sweeping the dining area of the restaurant.

As Clark was placing money into the cash registers, the defendant decided that robbery was the solution to his financial problems. He exited the restaurant to retrieve a .22 caliber handgun and handcuffs from his car which was parked in front. Upon reentering the restaurant, Taylor grabbed Ponsano, held the gun to her head and demanded that Clark open the restaurant's floor safe. He then handcuffed Clark and Ponsano together.

Clark opened the safe, and gave the defendant its contents, approximately $800.00. Clark offered to loan or give the defendant a personal check. Taylor refused the offer and instructed Clark not to inform the police about the robbery. After Clark told the defendant that he would not lie to the police, the defendant again asked Clark to rehire him. Ponsano expressed her opposition to rehiring the defendant, and Clark agreed. The defendant then shot Ponsano five times in the head and upper forearm. After emptying the gun, he exited the room, reloaded and returned to shoot Clark in the head. He then emptied the cash register of approximately $580.00, got into his car and drove away.

Another employee arriving for work recognized Taylor's car, saw Taylor inside, and heard shots. When the police arrived at the scene they found Ponsano and Clark lying in the storeroom handcuffed together, each with multiple gunshot wounds to the head. Ponsano died two days later. Clark survived, but suffers with paralysis and minor brain damage.

Upon arrest, Taylor gave a full confession, led the police to the stolen money, and informed the police that he had thrown the murder weapon into the Mississippi River.

Donna Ponsano

Manner of execution:
Lethal injection

Time of Death:
8:40 p.m.

Last Meal:
onion rings, barbecued ribs and shrimp, corn on the cob, toast and cheesecake

Final Statement:
Taylor read a brief statement in which he apologized to the slain woman's family and to the wounded restaurant manager. "I want to tell you, Keith, and the Ponsano family that I always regretted what I've done. It was my own doing. After this is over with, I hope you can find the peace to move on," Taylor said.