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, John (W/M)

DC #    J12116

DOB:   09/19/60


­­­Fourth Judicial Circuit, Clay County Case #97-1547

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable William A. Wilkes

Attorney, Trial: Nada M. Carey – Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Nada M. Carey – Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Frank Tassone, Jr. – Registry


Date of Offense:12/29/97

Date of Sentence: 10/07/99


Circumstances of Offense:


John Calvin Taylor was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Shannon Holzer.


According to Shannon Holzer’s coworker and friend, Cindy Schmermund, on 12/29/97, Holzer left the Buddy Boy’s convenience store, where they worked, around 1:00 p.m. to deposit about $6,000 at the bank for the store.  Holzer usually deposited money for Buddy Boy’s and the neighboring meat shop. 


Schmermund claimed that, on 12/29/97, Holzer pulled up in front of the store with Taylor in the car and pumped gas.  Holzer then entered Buddy Boy’s and Schmermund asked Holzer why Taylor was with her.  Holzer answered that she was giving him a ride to Green Cove Springs so he could pick up a rental car.  Taylor needed a rental car because his truck had been damaged in an accident.  Three other witnesses testified to seeing Taylor and Holzer leave together and hearing Holzer say she was taking Taylor to Green Cove Springs. 


Jeff Holzer, the victim’s husband, reported his wife missing when she did not return home the following day.  The police discovered Holzer had not deposited the money into Buddy Boy’s account, and she had not taken care of her horses. Police interviewed witnesses about Holzer’s disappearance and were told Taylor and Holzer were seen together.


On the evening of 12/30/97, Holzer’s car was found on a firebreak road.  Her body was later found off the same road in the woods.  According to a forensic pathologist, Holzer was stabbed nine times, with six stab wounds to her heart and three penetrating her left lung.  The pathologist determined that each of the wounds could have been fatal.  He testified that evidence suggested that Holzer was sitting in the driver’s seat and attempted to defend herself against a person attacking from the passenger seat.  The pathologist further testified that there were two small bruises inside Holzer’s vagina made fewer than 12 hours before her death.


Taylor was arrested on unrelated burglary charges on the same day that Holzer disappeared.  At the time of his arrest, Taylor was wearing boxer shorts with a blood stain on them.  The bloodstain was consistent with Holzer’s DNA profile.


After discovering Holzer’s body, police deputies went to Taylor’s mobile home to interview him.  Taylor was no longer in custody for the burglary arrest and was present at the residence along with one of his roommates, Michael McJunkin.  McJunkin answered the door.  Taylor had just gotten out of the shower and was wearing only a towel.  One of the deputies told him to put on clothes while observing him to make sure he did not try to pick up a weapon.  The deputies told Taylor that Holzer was missing, and he was the last one to see her alive. 


Shortly thereafter, two additional deputies arrived at Taylor’s residence.  One of the deputies took Taylor’s driver’s license out to the car to check for outstanding warrants.  Looking through a window from outside, the officer saw Taylor pull something out of his pocket and place it under the chair cushion on which he was sitting.  Thinking the item was a weapon, the officer secured permission to look under the cushion.  He found $1,600.  The police then handcuffed Taylor, read him his rights, and proceeded to take him outside.  Taylor consented to searches of his mobile home and rental car.  According to one of the officer’s testimony, Taylor informed him there was money inside a purple bag under the passenger’s seat of the rental car.


Taylor’s roommates, James Bullard and Michael McJunkin, testified that Taylor remarked about wanting to have sex with Holzer.  They also testified that Taylor was having financial trouble. McJunkin further testified that Taylor had spoken about robbing Holzer, because he knew Holzer made deposits at the bank for Buddy Boy’s, which was near their mobile home park. 


According to McJunkin, he and Taylor had planned to rob Buddy Boy’s.  McJunkin said that, at Taylor’s request, he dropped him off at Buddy Boy’s.  Taylor then told him to go back to his estranged wife’s house and wait for him to call.  Two witnesses claimed to see Taylor sitting in a car with a man fitting McJunkin’s description shortly before Holzer left to make the deposit.  Sometime later, McJunkin went to pick up Taylor after he called from a gas station in Green Cove Springs.  McJunkin parked in a parking lot while Taylor counted money that he put into a purple bag.  McJunkin claimed that Taylor said that, if Holzer did not show up for a couple of days, then things would be okay.  According to McJunkin, he and Taylor then went back to their mobile home.  Taylor changed clothes, put the clothes that he had been wearing into a bag and put the bag into a dumpster.


On the day that Holzer vanished, Taylor was photographed depositing $1,700 into his bank account, which at the time had a negative balance.  That same day, Taylor inquired about buying a truck at a car dealership.  Taylor and McJunkin also visited a bar where Taylor bought drinks for others and ran up a tab that ended up being several hundred dollars.  In addition, Taylor tipped the bartender $200.


Taylor testified at the trial in his own defense.  He claimed that McJunkin committed the robbery and murder.  According to Taylor, McJunkin had taken the rental car and left him without transportation at his estranged wife’s home. Taylor then walked to Buddy Boy’s and requested a ride from Holzer to his mobile home.  When they arrived at the mobile home, McJunkin requested a ride to Green Cove Springs.  Taylor further claimed that he went to pick up McJunkin after he called from a gas station in Green Cove Springs.  Taylor denied telling a deputy about the money in the rental car.  Taylor claimed that the money he had deposited at the bank and hidden in the trailer was from stealing a man’s briefcase.


Codefendant Information:


Michael McJunkin (Clay County Circuit Court #98-0068)


Michael McJunkin was tried separately and convicted of being an accessory after the fact and robbery with a firearm.  On 09/09/99, he was sentenced to 10 years and 6 months for each conviction.


Trial Summary:


02/26/98          Taylor was indicted on the following counts:

                                    Count I:           First-Degree Murder

                                    Count II:         Robbery with Firearm

07/23/99          The jury found Taylor guilty for each count of the indictment.

08/13/99          Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 10 to 2 majority, voted for the death penalty.

10/07/99          Taylor was sentenced as follows:

                                    Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

                                    Count II:         Robbery with Firearm – Life


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 96,959

855 So. 2d 1


11/03/99          Appeal filed.

06/05/03          FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence.

09/08/03          Rehearing denied.

09/08/03          Mandate issued.


U.S. Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC #03-7883

541 U.S. 905


12/08/03          Petition filed.

03/08/04          Petition denied.


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# 97-1547


10/29/04          Motion filed.

04/26/07          Amended motion filed.

11/02/10          Motion denied.

11/12/10          Motion for Rehearing filed.

12/21/10          Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC# 11-154



01/26/11          Appeal filed.


Case Information:


Taylor filed his Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 11/03/99.  The issues addressed included that error occurred in the trial court neglecting to suppress evidence seized from Taylor’s house and vehicle.  Taylor also contended that the trial court erroneously allowed hearsay testimony and required Taylor’s wife to testify about communications she had with him.  Taylor further contended that error occurred in the trial court’s weighing of aggravating and mitigating factors resulting in a disproportionate sentence of death. The Florida Supreme Court did not find merit in any of Taylor’s arguments and affirmed the conviction and sentence on 06/05/03. 


Taylor filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on 12/08/03.  The petition was denied on 03/08/04.


On 10/29/04, Taylor filed a 3.851 Motion with the State Circuit Court.  An amended 3.851 Motion was filed on 04/26/07.  The motion was denied on 11/02/10. A Motion for Rehearing was filed on 11/12/10 and was denied on 12/21/10.


On 01/26/11, Taylor filed a 3.850 Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court. This appeal is currently pending.


Institutional Adjustment:









Refused Substance Abuse Test

Florida State Prison



Possession of Contraband

Florida State Prison



Refused Substance Abuse Test

Union C.I.



Refused Substance Abuse Test

Union C.I.



Spoken Threats

Union C.I.



Possession of Contraband

Union C.I.



Possession of Contraband

Florida State Prison




Florida State Prison



Attempt to Conspire

Florida State Prison



Disrespect to Officials

Florida State Prison



Mail Violations

Florida State Prison



Possession of Contraband

Florida State Prison





Report Date:   04/20/06

Approved:       06/12/06

Updated:         02/08/11          EMJ