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Published: Tuesday, 7/26/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Toledo man sentenced to life for role in slaying

Victim killed during party in December

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Terrance Taylor, convicted of murder and aggravated robbery after a jury trial, is sentenced to 18 years to life by Judge Stacy L. Cook in the Lucas County Courthouse. Terrance Taylor, convicted of murder and aggravated robbery after a jury trial, is sentenced to 18 years to life by Judge Stacy L. Cook in the Lucas County Courthouse.
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Mark Ward was the kind of man who made sure that he spent Sunday dinner with his mother, his younger sister said.

But on the night of Dec. 12, she added, he didn't show up.

Monday, Mr. Ward's family appeared in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to see one of the three siblings convicted of crimes associated with his murder sentenced to life in prison. Terrance Taylor, 47, was given that sentence with parole eligibility after 18 years.

"We're glad that justice was served, but it's not over," Lisa Price said after the sentencing, noting that Taylor's half brother John Winfield has yet to go to trial. "It was a devastating incident that happened for no cause, over a bottle of liquor that my brother bought and shared with friends."

Taylor was convicted of murder and aggravated robbery, each with gun specifications, after a week-long jury trial last month. The jury found Taylor guilty of providing the handgun that was used in the Dec. 12 shooting although they did not convict him on the higher-level charge of aggravated murder.

Mr. Ward, 49, was killed during a party at 1520 Bell Ave. He was shot multiple times, including several times in the head.

According to trial testimony, several people, including Taylor, his sister Deirdre Taylor, 42, and their half brother John Winfield, 29, were playing cards and drinking when a quarrel began over money paid for the liquor.

Authorities said Winfield shot the victim after Taylor had given him a 40-caliber handgun, making Taylor complicit in the crime.

Deirdre Taylor, who recently pleaded guilty to robbery for rifling through the victim's pockets after the shooting, testified that Winfield fired the gun at the victim. She said Winfield then ordered her to search Mr. Ward's pockets.

Money from Mr. Ward's wallet, the coat he wore to the house, and his cognac were taken by the defendants, prosecutors said.

Judge Stacy Cook sentenced Taylor to 15 years to life in prison plus an additional three years for the gun specification. Because case law mandates that the sentence for the aggravated robbery conviction merge, Taylor was not sentenced on that count.

Prior to receiving his mandatory life sentence, Taylor turned to Mr. Ward's family members and offered his condolences. He then told the court and prosecutor that he had "no hard feelings."

"I want the court and especially my wife to know that this ain't the end," he said. "I will be back on appeal."

Lisa Price, sister of murder victim Mark Ward, says her family has found strength in their faith. Lisa Price, sister of murder victim Mark Ward, says her family has found strength in their faith.
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Assistant County Prosecutor Tim Braun declined to comment on the case, noting that Winfield has yet to go to trial.

Winfield, of Flint, Mich., is charged with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery, with specifications that he used a gun. His trial, a death- penalty case, is scheduled for March 5.

Deirdre Taylor was sentenced June 28 to four years in prison for her role.

Judge Cook acknowledged the pain that Mr. Ward's family must endure every day and questioned how a quarrel over a bottle of liquor could turn deadly.

"It's hard to fathom that something so simple could ever cost someone their life," she said. "No amount of punishment will bring him back and now your sister is serving time in prison and your brother awaits his fate."

Ms. Price said her family has found strength in banding together and in their faith.

She refused to share her family's feelings in court because she said Taylor did not deserve to know. But after the hearing, she spoke of her brother as a giving, hard-working man who is missed every day.

She recalled how her brother lived by the belief that vengeance was something meant only for God.

"We still lean on that til today," she said.

Contact Erica Blake at: eblake@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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