Man accused of beating Long Island toddler dead held without bail
The Associated Press
September 11, 2007
A man accused of inflicting a pair of fatal blows on a 17-month-old child in his care was ordered held without bail Tuesday after pleading not guilty to first-degree manslaughter.
Michael Taylor, 34, was arrested early Monday following the death of Jailyn Price, said Suffolk County homicide commander Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick.
Police said Taylor, who shared a room with his girlfriend, Jailyn's mother, was left to care for the toddler while the mother, whose name wasn't released, went to an all-night laundry nearby.
At about 1 a.m., Taylor, of Wyandanch, punched the child at least twice in the abdomen because he was fussing and was not going to sleep, police said. When the mother returned home a short time later, she realized the boy was injured and called an ambulance. The boy was taken to a hospital in West Islip, where he died.
Results of an autopsy were pending Tuesday, but preliminary results indicated the boy died of blunt-force trauma to the abdomen, Fitzpatrick said. There was no immediate evidence to support claims by relatives that the child had several other suspicious injuries, he said.
Taylor's attorney, Jason Bassett, said his client 'vehemently denies' the charges against him.
'He was like a surrogate father to this child and looks forward to clearing his name,' Bassett said.
Taylor is due back in court on Friday, prosecutors said.