Blood Test Shows Denison Man On Meth During Fatal House Wreck - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Blood Test Shows Denison Man On Meth During Fatal House Wreck

SHERMAN, TX -- A Denison man accused of murder and aggravated assault entered his plea in court today. We also learned the results of a blood test the suspect's attorney says took about a year to get back from the lab.

Prosecutors say it revealed one particular drug in the suspect's system the night he admits he ran into a house, killing one young woman, injuring another, and also changing his own life forever.

At a hearing inside a Sherman courtroom, District Attorney Joe Brown said a blood test shows Richard Allen Taylor Jr., 59, was driving around Denison high on meth back on Jan. 24, 2013.

"He claims he doesn't even remember what happened," says Brown. "There was another man driving a vehicle down Armstrong Ave. who said that Mr. Taylor's car continued to strike him in the back for several blocks. They were bumper to bumper, locked together."

Suddenly, near the corner of Morton Street and Armstrong, Taylor veered off. "His vehicle became unattached, left the roadway, and went into the house," says Brown.

Family members say Jennifer Comstock, 28, who worked at Ruiz Foods, had recently learned she was pregnant, and didn't yet know whether she was having a boy or a girl.

Comstock died and another woman inside the house, Nicolie Thompson, 43, suffered a broken pelvis and broken arm, Brown said.

"He accepted responsibility for this act," says Smith. "It's not a happy day for anybody. It's a sad day for both families."

During questioning inside the courthouse, Taylor said "yes," he does understand he won't be able to argue health or medical problems as a defense since he's pleading guilty. However, he will be able to discuss those issues during the sentencing phase which could take two days.

"His health is not good. He is not doing well in jail. I'm sure the jail is trying to take care of him as best they can, but he's deteriorating in jail," says Smith.

Taylor, who sat in a wheelchair in court, pleaded guilty to murder in Comstock's death and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for Thompson's injuries.

Prosecutors dropped two "lesser included offenses" of manslaughter and negligent homicide that a jury could have considered, and an enhancement for a prior drug offense.  He now faces 5 years to life.

"If he had gone to a jury, he was looking at a minimum of 25 years if he was found guilty. This way, he at least has the opportunity to get below that and it's up to the judge," says Smith.

Both families were in court Wednesday. The attorneys say this is a "felony murder" because Taylor was committing a crime by ramming another car when he caused Comstock's death.

By entering a plea, Taylor gives up the right to appeal. Judge Brian Gary officially revoked his bond. The probation office will write a pre-sentence investigation report and a sentencing hearing date has not yet been set.