Crime

Murder trial for Manatee ex-deputy charged with killing wife begins

The murder trial for Robert Taylor, a retired sheriff’s office corrections deputy charged with killing his wife in 2008, began Tuesday.

Taylor, 56, is charged with second-degree murder. If found guilty, he faces life in prison.

On Sept. 12, 2008, his wife, Pamela was found dead inside their swimming pool at their home in the 7300 block of Caladesia Drive. When deputies arrived, Taylor told investigators that he removed his wife from the deep end of the pool and placed her at the steps that morning, an arrest report shows.

But during the investigation, detectives discovered details of domestic abuse and a life insurance policy. Also, when Taylor first allowed deputies into his home on Sept. 12, his clothes were dry.

He was arrested in Morgan County, Mo., and brought to the Sarasota County jail.

On Tuesday, medical examiner Russell Vega testified that Pamela's cause of death was drowning, but the manner of death was homicide.

Prosecutor Art Brown also showed Vega an array of photographs taken of Taylor's body after her death. They showed bruises on her legs, fractured ribs and a contusion in her skull.

"In my opinion, it did occur close to the time of death," Vega said.

But the defense argued that Pamela's medical records showed she had issues with constantly falling, which could explain the injuries found on Pamela.

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