CAPE CORAL, Fla. - We are learning shocking new details in the murder of a Cape Coral man. Leroy Taylor, Jr. faces Second-Degree Murder charges, accused of brutally beating his father, Leroy Taylor, Sr., and then trying to burn his body. Police found the body on July 18th at Taylor's home on SW 49th Lane. One neighbor told WINK News he feared the son was to blame all along.
"The music was playing so loud on the radio in the car," neighbor Joseph Hansen said.
Little warning signs that caught Hansen's attention the week his neighbor, 91-year-old Leroy Taylor, Sr. was killed, now seem to make sense. He says Taylor's son, Leroy, Jr. - also known as "Jim" or "JT"- had been staying at his father's home, driving a blue car, and playing loud music. Just days before the murder, Hansen recalls when Leroy, Jr. approached him.
"He had been drinking, there's no doubt in my mind, I'll swear to that," Hansen said. "His sentences were a little mixed up. And then he says, being that you know my dad, I would like to have your phone number, so if he needs help, then he can call you."
But Taylor never took his number. Police say Taylor was drinking and acting strangely at a Cape Coral bar just hours before beating his father, then trying to burn the body. While some who knew him from the bar stand behind him, others aren't surprised by his arrest."Loose cannon, bizarre, drinks too much," one woman said.
Wednesday July 18th, the day police found Taylor's body, they say Leroy, Jr. called a taxi to take him to the airport to catch a flight to New York.
"That was kind of unusual too, for someone to be leaving quarter to seven, twenty to seven in the morning," Hansen said.
It was Hansen's gut feeling all along that Taylor's son was responsible, and with his arrest comes a little closure."I only saw him maybe once a week, he would come out, but I definitely miss talking to him," Hansen said.
Family members tell us Leroy Taylor, Sr. is a decorated war hero and retired Lt. Colonel in the Air Force. Thursday, friends spent the day moving his things into a U-Haul. One possible motive for the crime could be that Taylor, Sr. had told people he was no longer going to financially support his son.