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Press Release

Madison Man Sentenced to 150 Months for Shooting Man During Drug Deal

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Wisconsin

MADISON, WIS. - Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that James E. Taylor, 37, Madison, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 150 months in prison for discharging a firearm during a drug deal.   Taylor pleaded guilty to this charge on August 19, 2019.

In April 2016, Taylor arranged to purchase marijuana from a Town of Madison man.  During the transaction, Taylor and the man got into a physical fight and Taylor pulled a gun from his pocket and pointed it at the man.  The two continued to struggle and Taylor shot the man in the head, then stole the man’s marijuana.  The man survived the shooting, but had to undergo surgery and has a lasting injury.  Taylor fled the state and was later arrested on an unrelated warrant in Rockford, Illinois.

In sentencing Taylor, Judge Conley considered Taylor’s lengthy criminal history and the fact that Taylor kept going back to crime even though many people tried to help him.  Judge Conley told Taylor that he was out of time to change, and that the next time he commits a crime, he will likely go to prison for the rest of his life.  Judge Conley also noted that bringing a gun to a drug deal is tempting fate, and but for a chance intervention and life-saving surgery, the man that Taylor shot likely would have died.

The charge against Taylor was the result of an investigation conducted by the Town of Madison Police Department, with the assistance of the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, Dane County Sheriff’s Office, and UW-Madison Police Department.  The prosecution of the case has been handled by U.S. Attorney Scott C. Blader and Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Przybylinski Finn. 

This case has been brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the U.S. Justice Department’s program to reduce violent crime.  The PSN approach involves collaboration by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.

Updated December 19, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods