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Neighbor of murdered Lakewood man sentenced after being found guilty

Published: May. 27, 2021 at 6:36 PM EDT
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Taylor in court awaiting his sentencing
Taylor in court awaiting his sentencing(Cuyahoga County Justice Center)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - This is an excerpt from a letter written by the daughter of 70 year-old Dan Donlan.

“My dad was 96 years old when the police delivered the shocking news of Dan’s brutal murder to him. No parent should have to experience the loss of two children and especially one’s whose life was taken away by a violence crime.”

Mr. Donlan was murder by his neighbor Gary Taylor back in December of 2018. That letter was read to the court on behalf of Dan Donlan’s sister expressing the distress the family feels because of his brutal beating death.. The crime for which 58 year-old Gary Taylor was convicted. For two and a half years Taylor received more than 25-thousand dollars from Mr. Donlan.

An assistant county prosecuting attorney addressing the court asking for a stiff penalty to punish Taylor for killing his neighbor.

“The way Gary Taylor repaid him for all that generosity was to push him down the stairs of his own basement home then beat him to death with a circular saw. He did that all just to take money so he could buy crack cocaine.”

Donlan lived in a house on Robinwood Avenue in Lakewood. He was killed there in January of 2018. Gary Taylor was linked to the murder through DNA evidence at the scene and a ledger Donlan kept of the money he had given to Taylor. A jury found Taylor guilty of multiple charges including murder. Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Emily Hagan.

“The charges merge for the purpose of sentencing. The state has elected the court to sentence on count one aggravated murder an unclassified felony. To that Mr. Taylor I sentence you to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.”

Taylor told the court through his lawyer he wants to appeal his murder conviction and that he doesn’t have the money to pay for one. The law allows him to appeal and a court appointed attorney will try his next case. An appeal court date has not been set.

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