State of Missouri v. Leon Taylor

7944 S.W. 2d 925 (Mo.banc)

TaylorLCase Facts:  On April 14, 1994, Taylor, his half-brother Willie Owens, and his half-sister Tina Owens were driving Tina’s car discussing various robbery possibilities. Taylor suggested a gas station in Independence where only one person would be working. The trio went to the station and purchased some gasoline. Taylor asked whether they were going to rob it. Tina Owens said no because a little girl was inside. Sarah Yates, an eight-year-old, was keeping company with Robert Newton, her stepfather and the gas station manager.

The three left the station, only to return a few moments later after the oil light came on. Willie Owens went into the station and asked for some oil. Taylor next entered the store and stated they needed a different weight of oil. Taylor then drew a pistol and stated that he would shoot Newton unless he gave them the money. Newton complied, handing Owens approximately $400 in a bank money bag. Owens took the money and returned to the car.

Taylor directed Newton and the child to the station’s back room. Taylor shot Newton once in the head, killing him. Taylor then pointed the gun at the child. Taylor pulled the trigger, but the gun jammed and did not discharge. Frustrated, Taylor locked the child in the back room and returned to the car. Taylor told Willie and Tina Owens that he had shot the man and that he had to go back inside and get the little girl. However, because Willie and Tina wanted to leave, they then drove away.