Local lawyer charged with domestic battery
Paul G. Taylor, a local attorney who ran in a close but unsuccessful race for a Jefferson County Commission seat in 2010, was charged Saturday with one count of misdemeanor domestic battery after allegedly striking a woman in the mouth during an argument at his home.
Taylor, 49, of Willowdale Drive, Shepherdstown, was arraigned later that day and released after posting $2,000 bail.
Taylor, who has been a practicing attorney in the Eastern Panhandle for more than 19 years, directed a reporter to speak to his attorney Tuesday, adding that “it’s a private, personal matter,” after he was contacted and given an opportunity to comment.
Taylor’s attorney in the case, fellow Shepherdstown lawyer Andrew Arnold, stressed that Taylor is presumed innocent, and a charge or allegation is not evidence of guilt.
“Paul enjoys the presumption of innocence at this point, and will defend himself against this allegation,” Arnold said. “At this point, we only have an allegation, one that certainly leaves a lot of unanswered questions, and we look forward to defending against this allegation and resolving the matter.”
According to court records obtained Tuesday, Senior Trooper S.R. Smith with the West Virginia State Police responded at 11:51 a.m. Saturday to a report of a domestic disturbance at Taylor’s home after the alleged victim called 911 and stated she was “assaulted and struck in the mouth,” records show.
Smith arrived a few minutes later and spoke with Taylor in the driveway, asking him to explain the situation. When the alleged victim appeared from the garage area, the officer asked Taylor to sit in his police cruiser while he obtained a written statement from the woman.
She told police she was cooking eggs for breakfast when she and Taylor began talking about the prior evening. The woman began discussing “the suspect having too much to drink and she was concerned,” records state.
When she continued to cook, she alleged that Taylor became upset at the way she was cooking the eggs. She said she told Taylor he could cook his own breakfast and then she sat down at the kitchen table and began to eat, records show.
She claims their argument escalated and he allegedly struck her in the mouth with his right hand and pushed her backward and forward in her chair, records state.
She told police she went upstairs to call 911 and Taylor allegedly followed her. As the woman made the call, she said Taylor began gathering his firearms and took them to his vehicle outside.
During the interview with police, Smith observed two bruises on the inside portion of both the upper and lower left side of the woman’s lips, records show.
Emergency medical services personnel responded to the scene and photographed her injuries.
At about 12:30 p.m., Smith took Taylor to the Charles Town detachment of the West Virginia State Police for processing, before transporting him to the Eastern Regional Jail. Taylor was subsequently arraigned and released.
If convicted of domestic battery, Taylor could face up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.