Home Richmond Press Releases 2010 Man Who Took Hostages at Wytheville Post Office Sentenced

Man Who Took Hostages at Wytheville Post Office Sentenced
Warren Taylor Given 40-Year Sentence

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 07, 2010
  • Western District of Virginia (540) 857-2250

ROANOKE, VA—The Bristol, Tennessee man who held several people hostage at gunpoint inside the Wytheville, Virginia Post Office on December 23, 2009, was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia on federal firearms and kidnapping charges.

Warren Taylor, 54, was indicted in January 2010, and charged with a variety of crimes related to the December 23, 2009, incident. Taylor previously pleaded guilty to one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, one count of possessing a firearm after having been previously convicted of a felony and three counts of kidnapping. Today in District Court, he was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison.

“Warren Taylor took hostages in a United States Post Office as a means of expressing his displeasure with the federal government,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “Rather than express his views in a peaceful manner, he chose violence as a form of protest. While our laws protect every Americans' right to express his or her opinions, they also provide for harsh punishment for violent acts. Under those laws, Mr. Taylor was justly sentenced to 40 years in prison today. I want to commend all of the law enforcement agencies and officers who responded to the Wytheville Post Office and negotiated a peaceful end to the hostage standoff. Their fine work ensured that law, rather than violence, prevailed.”

Taylor has previously admitted to entering the Wytheville, Va., Post Office on December 23, 2009, and holding Douglas Robinson, James Oliver, and Majorie Austin against their will for the purpose of, including but not limited to, making known his displeasure with the government and policies of the United States.

The defendant also admitted to possessing and using a firearm during the kidnaping. At the time of his arrest, Taylor was in possession of one Glock .40 caliber pistol, one North American Arms .22 caliber revolver, one Taurus .17 caliber revolver and one Taurus .45 caliber Model PT 1911 semi-automatic pistol and ammunition.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, The Virginia State Police, The United States Marshal’s Service, the Wytheville, Virginia Police Department and the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office. First Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Giorno is prosecuting the case for the United States.

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