A Bibb County judge granted a $100,000 bond Thursday for one of two Macon brothers accused in the 2012 shooting death of a man at his Fulton Mill Road home.
Nathan and Nicholas Taylor each were indicted in 2013 in the killing of 59-year-old Walter Henley. Another brother, Willie Lee Bostic, also was indicted in the case, but charges against him have been dismissed.
Nathan Taylor’s lawyer, Jonathan Waters, argued that a bond should be set for his client since he’s been held so long awaiting trial.
In making his ruling, Judge Edgar W. Ennis Jr. said had it not been for the age of the case, he would not have granted a bond.
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If Taylor, 31, is released, he will be on house arrest with an ankle monitor, barred from contacting people linked to the case and subject to certain gang-related conditions.
Prosecutor Neil Halvorson said his office is reviewing Taylor’s jail phone calls that reference a criminal street gang.
In his argument opposing a bond being set, Halvorson said Taylor is a “confessed murderer” who is on parole for a 2005 robbery conviction.
In the confession, he divulged details of the killing that hadn’t been released publicly, Halvorson said.
Waters said Taylor confessed after he met with his brothers and father.
“He came out and said, ‘I’ll tell you what you want to hear,’ ” Waters said.
Parts of his statement don’t match what authorities know about the killing, he said.
He didn’t know some pertinent details, like the color of the gun used to kill Henley, Waters said.
Waters added that investigators mentioned they didn’t think Taylor was being truthful.
Henley called 911 shortly before he was fatally shot Aug. 18, 2012, Halvorson said.
He told a dispatcher multiple people were on his property, demanding money related to a vehicle. Henley’s young daughter was at home and overheard her father arguing with other people, Halvorson said.
A witness has said he had a conversation with Taylor in which Taylor talked about wanting money for vehicles Henley had that belonged to Taylor. Text messages were exchanged between Taylor and the witness, he said.
“There was an escalation in Nathan Taylor’s communications,” Halvorson said.
Although Henley’s daughter initially picked Nicholas Taylor from a lineup, two years later she was shown another series of photos. She picked out Nathan Taylor, Waters said.
A prosecutor said at a 2014 hearing that authorities have evidence Henley sold two vehicles belonging to Nathan and Nicholas Taylor to a recycling center for scrap. He received text messages from the brothers in the days before his death in which they asked about money he owed them from the sales.
At that hearing, Nicholas Taylor’s lawyer maintained his client was mistakenly identified as the killer. He gave the judge a file of medical records showing Nicholas Taylor had been injured in the days before the shooting and wouldn’t have been able to kill Henley.
Nicholas Taylor was granted a $25,000 bond in March last year. Halvorson said he hasn’t confessed and doesn’t have a criminal record.
The case against both brothers could go to trial as soon as April.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.