Man Wanted in Florida for 1977 Killing Arrested in NC

After he was arrested in the 1977 shooting death of a former immigration official in Florida, William Claybourne Taylor posted bond and disappeared. It would be 36 years before federal agents caught up with him again.

Taylor, 67, was taken into custody Thursday in Reidsville, North Carolina, where he had been living under a false name, the FBI said in a news release.

In 1980, Taylor was indicted on charges of murder and aggravated battery in the January 1977 shooting death of a former official with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the shooting of a former mayor of Williston, Florida, authorities said.

According to an account in The Gainesville Sun on the 36th anniversary of his disappearance, Taylor has been identified by the FBI as the triggerman, one of three men accused in the shooting. Ray Taylor, William Taylor's older brother, was convicted in 1980 as chief planner in the plot. Media reports say the third man, believed to be the driver of the car from which the shots were fired, testified against Ray Taylor in exchange for a manslaughter conviction and was sentenced to 15 years of probation.

William Taylor was indicted in May 1980 and arrested five days later in Chattanooga, Tennessee, authorities said. They said he never returned to Ocala, Florida, after being released in Tennessee on a $20,000 personal recognizance bond.

A federal arrest warrant was issued in August 1980 after Taylor was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

The FBI statement doesn't identify the victims. However, a story published in 2013 in the Ocala Star-Banner identified the man killed as 64-year-old Walter H. Scott, of Archer, and the man injured as former Williston Mayor Eugene T. Bailey, who was shot three times.

The report says the shooting occurred as they were driving along U.S. 27 about 18 miles west of Ocala when another car pulled alongside their vehicle. An accomplice, now dead, also was involved, the FBI said.

The newspaper report says the victims' car veered into pine trees after the driver was shot. A suspect approached the back of the car and shot Bailey, the newspaper reported.

Two other men in the car escaped unharmed, the newspaper reported.

It wasn't clear Thursday if Taylor has an attorney. He is being held in a detention center in Guilford County, the release said.

Reidsville police didn't return phone calls seeking comment.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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