FBI Jacksonville
Amanda Warford Videll
(904) 248-7093
July 28, 2016

FBI Murder Suspect Captured After Decades as Fugitive William Claybourne Taylor Located in North Carolina

A man wanted for his involvement in a scheme to murder a Florida mayor was captured by the FBI Thursday, nearly 40 years after the crime.

The FBI recently developed new information that William Claybourne Taylor was living in Reidsville, North Carolina under a false name. Special agents from the FBI Charlotte Division’s Greensboro Resident Agency took Taylor into custody Thursday without incident and confirmed his true identity.

Taylor, now 67, was wanted for his alleged involvement in the January 8, 1977 murder of a former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) official and the shooting of a former mayor of Williston, Florida. On the night of the murder, Taylor and an accomplice, who is now deceased, pulled alongside a car that was occupied by the victims. Taylor allegedly shot and killed the official during an attempt to murder the former mayor. On May 15, 1980, Taylor was indicted by a Marion County Grand Jury in Ocala, Florida for murder and aggravated battery. He was arrested on May 20, 1980, in Chattanooga, Tennessee and subsequently released on a $20,000 personal recognizance bond returnable to Ocala, Florida. However, Taylor never appeared in Ocala to surrender. On August 6, 1980, a federal arrest warrant was issued by the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, after Taylor was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Michelle S. Klimt, special agent in charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division, would like to thank the FBI Charlotte Division, Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, Greensboro Police Department, Eden Police Department, Winston-Salem Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Ocala Police Department Safe Streets Task Force, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina for their assistance.

“William Claybourne Taylor thought he could avoid taking responsibility for this horrible crime, but our agents continued an exhaustive search year after year,” said Klimt. “To echo the words of former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, ‘the FBI always gets its man.’ We thank our law enforcement partners for their assistance and hope this news brings comfort to the families of Taylor’s victims.”

Taylor is being held in the Guilford County, North Carolina detention center. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.