Elizabeth Ann Taylor
A Jefferson County jury of nine women and three men deliberated for five hours before convicting a 71-year-old Lumberton woman on one count of second-degree murder.
Elizabeth Ann Taylor, of Lumberton, claimed she shot her abusive boyfriend Larry Wayne Atwood, 58, of Vidor, to stop him from beating her.
The decision came down on Thursday, Nov. 29, in Judge John Stevens’ Jefferson County courtroom.
She testified that the deadly altercation took place on Oct. 11, 2017, when Atwood grabbed Taylor by her hair and slammed her head into the dashboard of the vehicle he was driving on the Eastex Freeway.
Fearing further violence, Taylor shot Atwood with a .38-caliber pistol, claiming she acted in self-defense. He later died at the hospital from the gunshot wound.
Taylor’s attorneys argued that the relationship was troubled by domestic abuse. Atwood’s family members said she was the abuser, but neither side said they ever saw him strike Taylor.
Judge John Stevens accepted the jury’s decision, but reduced the charge to second-degree murder as a “crime of passion.”
In the Friday punishment phase of the trial, Judge Stevens sentenced Taylor to four years in prison. She will be eligible for parole in two years.