ROGERSVILLE - A judge weighing the fate of a foster father accused of putting a fatal choke-hold on a troubled teenager talked for 45 minutes Thursday but needed less than a dozen words to explain his decision.
"Bottom line - you killed a kid. You gotta go to jail," 3rd Judicial District Judge John F. Dugger Jr. said in sentencing Kenneth Wayne Taylor, 55, to a five-year prison term for the November 2007 death of foster son Jordan Kaleb Shelton.
Taylor had faced felony murder charges in the death of the 16-year-old foster child, who died in Taylor's Morristown home after Taylor wrestled him to the ground using a choke-hold that trapped blood in his brain. A Hawkins County jury convicted him instead of voluntary manslaughter, which carries a penalty range of three to six years. Defense attorney Herbert S. Moncier pushed Wednesday for minimum sentencing and probation. Third Judicial District Attorney General Berkeley Bell called for maximum sentencing and prison. Their respective positions came as no surprise.
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