The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly.  This information; however, is subject to change and may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not be relied upon for statistical or legal purposes. 


TAYLOR, William K. (W/M)

DC#    111640

DOB:  09/08/58


Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County Case # 01-8692  

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Barbara Fleischer

Attorney, Trial: Deborah Goins – Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Andrea M. Norgard – Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Maria Perinetti – CCRC-M


Date of Offense: 05/25/01

Date of Sentence: 09/29/04


Circumstances of Offense:


William Taylor met Sandra Kushmer and her brother, Billy D. Maddox, at Harry’s Bar in Riverview.  Taylor knew Kushmer from school.  When Taylor noticed that Kushmer’s brother bought expensive drinks and left generous tips, he decided to rob them. He took them to their mother’s house where he attacked them and robbed them.  Taylor hit Kushmer in the head then shot her in the face with a shotgun.  He then severely beat Maddox.  Maddox nearly died from the beating, he received several fractures to his skull and allegedly still suffers from lasting brain damage from the incident.


After the incident, while still in Tampa, Taylor washed his bloody clothes, pawned the shotgun, made charges to the Maddox’s credit card and attempted to cash one of Maddox’s checks.  Taylor then fled to Memphis, Tennessee, where he assumed Maddox’s identity of a stockbroker and used his stolen credit cards and checks to make purchases.  Taylor was arrested in Memphis. 


Taylor has given various accounts of what happened.   At one point he claimed that his wife, Lorena Taylor, and a man named Jose Arano were present and participated in the crimes; however, neither of them has been charged with a crime. 


Additional Information:


Taylor’s first trial ended in a mistrial because jurors were mistakenly allowed to hear a portion of Taylor’s confession in which he discussed committing burglaries in Miami. 


Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:



Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Prison Sentence Length






2Y 0M 0D






1Y 0M 0D



In 1976, Taylor shot a woman and assaulted another in Delaware.  He spent 23 years in prison for the crimes.  It is stipulated that under the name of Mark Levy, Taylor lived in Elko County, Nevada and assaulted and burglarized a female co-worker in 1977. 


Trial Summary:


06/12/01          Indicted as follows:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder

Count II:         Attempted Murder

Count III:        Robbery with a Deadly Weapon

Count IV:        Robbery with a Firearm

Count V:         Armed Burglary of a Dwelling

Count VI:        Felon in Possession of a Firearm

 03/26/04         Mistrial was declared.

06/02-09/04     Retrial held.     

06/09/04          Jury returned guilty verdicts on counts I through V of the indictment.

06/14/04          Jury recommended death by a vote of 12-0.

09/29/04          Sentenced as follows:

                                    Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

Count II:         Attempted Murder – Life

Count III:        Robbery with a Deadly Weapon – Life

Count IV:        Armed Burglary – Life with a 20 year mandatory minimum

Count V:         Armed Burglary of a Dwelling – Life with a 10 year mandatory minimum


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 04-2243

937 So.2d 590 (2006)


11/19/04          Appeal filed

06/29/06          FSC affirmed Taylor’s conviction and sentence

07/27/06          Mandate issued

State Circuit Court

CC# 01-8692


10/25/06          Order finding competency to waive postconviction proceedings & counsel

Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Appeal

FSC# 06-2542

962 So.2d 336 (2007)


12/04/06          Appeal filed

07/09/07          Voluntarily dismissed


Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion

CC# 01-8692


10/09/07          Motion filed

02/14/08          Amended Motion filed

11/19/09          Motion denied


Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Appeal

FSC# 09-2417



12/30/09          Appeal filed


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

FSC# 10-2169



11/08/10          Petition filed


Case Information:


On 11/19/04, Taylor filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court.  He argued that the trial court erred in denying the motion to suppress evidence seized in an unlawful search and that the sentence of death is disproportionate for this case.  Taylor also contended that the Florida Capital Sentencing process is unconstitutional since the judge, rather than the jury, determines the sentence and the existence of his prior violent felony should not bar the application of Ring to his death sentence.  Finally, Taylor argued that the jury instructions given during the penalty phase unconstitutionally shifted the burden of proof onto him and the instructions improperly minimized and denigrated the role of the jury in violation of Caldwell v. Mississippi.  The court affirmed Taylor’s conviction and death sentence on 06/29/06.


On 10/25/06, the Circuit Court entered an order finding competency to waive postconviction proceedings & counsel.


On 12/04/06, an appeal of the Circuit Court order was filed in the Florida Supreme Court.  On 07/09/07, this appeal was voluntarily dismissed from the Florida Supreme Court.


On 10/09/07, Taylor filed a 3.851 motion in the Circuit Court and then filed an Amended Motion on 02/14/08.  This motion was denied on 11/19/09.


Taylor filed a 3.851 appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 12/30/09. This case is currently pending.


Taylor filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Florida Supreme Court on 11/08/10. This petition is currently pending.




Report Date:     09/29/06          DDK

Approved:        09/29/06          JFL

Updated:          12/02/10          EMJ