News From Terre Haute, Indiana


July 2, 2014

December trial date set for Earl Taylor

Facing murder charge in 1975 death of first wife

TERRE HAUTE — A December trial date has been set for a man accused of killing his first wife, Kathy Taylor, 39 years ago.

Earl Taylor, 62, appeared via video Wednesday morning in Vigo Superior Court 1, where he requested a public defender in the first-degree murder case.

Taylor was convicted of murdering his second wife, Mindy, whose body was recovered in 1987 from her submerged car in a pond off of Poplar Street near Deming Park. Taylor was sentenced to 60 years in prison in that conviction. He served more than 25 years of that sentence behind bars before being released from prison in January.

Judge John Roach set the trial in the Kathy Taylor case for Dec. 8, with an Oct. 7 hearing date.

Roach also stated that because Taylor is being charged under the 1975 statute, he faces either up to life in prison or a sentence of 45 to 65 years in prison, if convicted. Roach told Taylor that he is researching the possible sentence and will advise Taylor of the outcome.

Taylor was arrested Tuesday by the Vigo County Sheriff's Department as part of the renewed investigation into the death of Kathy Taylor, who was reported dead April 2, 1975.

Earl Taylor told investigators he found his wife dead in the bathtub, where an electric clock radio had fallen into the tub. No criminal charges were ever filed in the suspicious death.

The Kathy Taylor cold case will be highlighted on the Aug. 15 TV episode of “Cold Justice,” airing on the TNT Network.

A former Vincennes resident, Kathy Taylor was 23 years old at the time of her death. She lived in C-Mar Estates north of Terre Haute with her 22-year-old husband, a Sullivan County native who was a graduate of North Central High School.

According to a narrative released Tuesday by the sheriff’s department, detectives investigating Kathy Taylor’s death found that after Earl removed her lifeless body from the tub, he did not immediately contact authorities. Instead, he summoned a family member who later reported the death to the sheriff’s department.

Taylor later told deputies that Kathy had been home alone taking a bath when an electronic clock radio fell into the tub. But during the investigation, detectives noticed that the power cord on the clock radio appeared to have been changed to extend its length. The investigation revealed the factory cord length would not have allowed the radio to fall into the bathtub.

Retired Detective Tom Roberts said that during conversations with Earl Taylor, the man offered a methodical minute-by-minute alibi of his whereabouts on April 2, 1975. But police later learned that alibi was not completely accurate.

Detectives also learned that weeks before her death, Kathy Taylor told family and friends that Earl was having an affair and that she was planning to file for divorce. And, just before Kathy’s death, Earl had been terminated from his job with a local insurance company. It was discovered that Earl had taken out five separate life insurance policies on Kathy, without her knowledge or consent.

When told of the insurance policies, Kathy reportedly told the insurance representative that she feared her husband was going to kill her. Several years after Kathy’s death, the same insurance representative learned that Earl Taylor was soon to be married to a woman named Mindy Svadeba of Terre Haute. The insurance representative contacted Mindy and shared the circumstances of Kathy’s death, warning her that she, too, could be in danger.

On Oct. 4, 1987, Mindy Svadeba Taylor’s body was recovered from the driver’s side of her Pontiac Fiero, which was found submerged in a lake off of Poplar Street near Deming Park in Terre Haute.

Earl Taylor at the time told detectives that he and Mindy had difficulty sleeping that night, and at her suggestion, they had gone for a drive at about 3 a.m. He stated that Mindy swerved the car to avoid hitting a raccoon, which was crossing the road in front of them.

He said the car left Poplar Street and began to submerge in a pond. He told investigators that Mindy was unconscious, and he was unable to rouse her. He said after the car filled with water, he opened the passenger door and escaped but was unable to get Mindy out of the car.

An investigation revealed that the seat on the driver’s side of her car was too far back for Mindy to have driven the car. Mindy’s arms were under the seat belt, and her seat belt was snapped into the passenger’s receptacle.

An autopsy revealed that Mindy had died of drowning, and although she had no injuries, there were no signs she attempted to escape the car.

At the time of her death, Mindy left behind three children ages 3, 5 and 7.

The 1987 investigation revealed that Earl had taken out $600,000 in life insurance on Mindy, and also on a woman with whom he was having an affair at that time.

Earl Taylor was arrested for the murder of his second wife. He was later tried and convicted by a jury.

As part of an ongoing review of cold cases, sheriff’s officials recently re-opened the Kathy Taylor death investigation.

Detectives worked for months examining evidence, in addition to tracking down and re-interviewing witnesses from nearly 40 years ago.

Retired detectives, as well as the first deputy on the scene in 1975, recently shared first-hand knowledge of the case with VCSD Capt. John Moats and Detective Derek Fell. Forensic pathologist Dr. Roland Kohr also aided in reviewing the case, before it was presented to Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt for an arrest warrant for murder.

The warrant for Taylor’s arrest was issued Tuesday, and he was charged under the 1975 statute for first-degree murder.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • MET 073014 WESTMINISTER DIG.jpg Expanding independence

    Westminster Village, a Terre Haute retirement community, is investing $1.8 million to construct 12 new villa homes, officials announced Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014 5 Photos

  • Decades later, dry cleaners leave blemish

    Fifty years ago, about 30 dry cleaners did business in the city of Terre Haute. City officials are now cleaning up the mess some left behind.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MARK BENNETT: Year of River sets example for state

    Terre Haute pays more attention to the Wabash River these days.

    July 30, 2014

  • Climate of less regulation, more chemical spills leaves ‘historical pollution,’ NCA director says

    Former dry cleaning sites are an environmental problem all over the state, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MET073014parks bbushee.jpg Camping turnout low for first half of summer

    Camping revenue for the past two months has dropped in Vigo County parks, a downturn park officials say is difficult to attribute to a new park policy limiting campers’ stays to 14 days in the three county parks.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 073014 DESTROYED.jpg Devastating fire takes out mobile home

    A Seelyville mobile home sustained heavy damage in a fire early Wednesday morning.
    Lost Creek Township firefighters were called to the scene in the 2200 block of Tabortown Road south of U.S. 40 at about 2 a.m.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Man posts bond after fatal wreck

    An Oct. 7 trial date has been set for a Terre Haute man accused of driving while intoxicated causing death.

    July 30, 2014 3 Stories

  • Driver injured, airlifted, cited for failure to yield

    An elderly woman was injured in a crash Wednesday afternoon in Sullivan County, according to Indiana State Police.

    July 30, 2014

  • MET072914leo screen.jpg Slick’s debut

    Bobby “Slick” Leonard was the main attraction but his hometown, Terre Haute, was constantly in the background as friends, fans and family gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday night to honor the man famous for the words “Boom Baby.”

    July 29, 2014 8 Photos

  • MET 072914 TAJIMI YANASE.jpg Sister-city students get a dose of ‘new culture’

    One of Juri Sawada’s dreams has been to visit America.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Motion delays trial for 2012 homicide

    A man who has been jailed about 20 months in connection with the homicide of his wife will not go on trial next week as scheduled.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sheriff charged in prostitution case

    Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement working to protect the public from criminals, but on Tuesday he was treated as one.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • maple candy closeup.jpg Vigo Parks dishing out the sweetness

    Vigo County Parks and Recreation has made a “sweet” addition to its maple syrup production at Prairie Creek Park.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Danny Rodden indicted on federal charges

    Instead of overseeing the operations of the Clark County jail and police force Tuesday, Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden found himself being transported by the FBI to Indianapolis to answer federal charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • Woman’s condition ‘fair’ after grocery store wreck

    A Terre Haute woman was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis as the result of injuries sustained in Monday’s accident on the Baesler’s Market parking lot.

    July 29, 2014

  • Semi driver cited for alcohol use

    A commercial vehicle driver has been placed out of service after he tested positive for alcohol consumption during a Tuesday morning traffic stop in Sullivan County.

    July 29, 2014

  • Church to give out school backpacks

    United Methodist Temple will stage its first-ever Back-2-School Bash from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.
    The church is located at 5301 S. U.S. 41.

    July 29, 2014

  • MET 072814 BUS MEYERROSE.jpg Bus safety features

    New safety features on South Vermillion School Corp. buses have led to fewer disciplinary problems and fewer incidents of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses, officials say.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pendergast.jpg Humvee driver says foot caused fatal accident

    Kyle Pendergast, 22, the Terre Haute driver of a black Humvee charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing the death of a teenager, has told police he could not turn the wheel before the vehicle flipped in a field in an early Saturday morning accident.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • MET 072814 CONTAMINATED Cleaner may have contaminated water

    Groundwater and soil testing is set to begin within a week to learn whether toxic chemicals might have seeped into the wells of a small southside neighborhood and even beyond.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Housing Authority’s Warren Village nearing completion

    Construction on the newest Terre Haute Housing Authority property – Warren Village – should wrap up next month, a housing authority official said Monday.

    July 29, 2014

  • rush-hr.jpg Observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking next chief

    State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure as the state’s top judge.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Multi-vehicle accident in parking lot

    A woman was hospitalized with injuries after a multiple-vehicle accident late Monday morning in the Baesler’s Market parking lot on Poplar Street

    July 29, 2014

  • Old National acquires Michigan bank

    Evansville-based Old National Bancorp and Grand Rapids-based Founders Financial Corp. said Monday they have finalized an agreement under which Old National will acquire Founders through a stock and cash merger.

    July 28, 2014

  • Ohio man falls to death at Cataract Falls rec area

    Indiana conservation officers are investigating the death of an Ohio man that occurred at about 4:10 p.m. Sunday at Cataract Falls State Recreation Area in Owen County.

    July 28, 2014

  • MET 072514 WWI 01MORAHN.jpg Postcards from the war front

    A native of France, Marie Decleir saw humanity at its worst as she experienced the death and destruction caused by World War I, which began 100 years ago today.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 072714 NASCAR STEIG.jpg Watching Gordon make history

    As race car drivers competed on the track on Sunday in Indianapolis, racing fans in Terre Haute gathered around television screens and watched history unfold during the “Crown Royal Presents, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard.”

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Inept amid partisan fury

    Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.

    July 27, 2014

  • Restaurant Inspections: July 28, 2014

    July 7-11

    July 27, 2014

  • MET 072514 I-70 CONE.jpg Caution zone

    Travel the interstate at your own risk.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo 3 People Killed, Deputies Wounded in NC Shootout Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Obama: 'Blood of Africa Runs Through My Veins' 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Raw: Smoke, Explosions Fill Gaza Skyline Today in History for July 31st Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010

Real Estate News