Dayton Daily News Library

The Valentine's Day murders
The trial of James R. Taylor Sr.

  On Feb. 14, 1998 two people were killed in a shooting at a Valentine's Day dance in Fairborn. Ronald Rihm and his wife Carolyn were shot to death when James R. Taylor Sr., then 67, approached their table to confront his estranged wife, Patricia, who was seated with them. Mrs. Taylor escaped injury by ducking under the table and bystanders wrestled the gun away from her husband.
Taylor
Patricia Taylor
Ronald Rihm
Carolyn Rihm
   James Taylor was charged with murder and attempted murder and a year later, on Feb. 10, 1999, he went on trial for his life. Taylor chose to act as his own attorney and is believed to be the first person in modern Ohio History to defend himself in a death penalty case.
  Taylor did not deny killing the Rihms, but said he intended to commit suicide and did not mean to shoot anyone but himself.
  On Feb. 24, Taylor was found guilty, and on April 6 he was sentenced to die.

Greene CountyCommon Pleas Judge Thomas M. Rose rests his head on the bench as he listens toJames R. Taylor's opening statements in his capital murder case Wednesday.Judge Rose had to interrupt the 17-minute presentation nine times when Taylor,who is defending himself, strayed beyond legal bounds.
BILLREINKE / DAYTON DAILY NEWS

Selected Dayton Daily News articles:

FAIRBORN SLAYINGS
MAN, 67, HELD IN DEATHS OF PAIR

By Rob Modic and Mike Drummond Dayton Daily News
Published: 02/16/98 -- Page: 1A

SUSPECT TO REPRESENT SELF
MAN IS CHARGED WITH KILLING A COUPLE AT DANCE
By Margo Rutledge Kissell Greene County Bureau
Published: 08/18/98 -- Page: 1B

A TRYING EXPERIENCE
TAYLOR MURDER TRIAL OFF TO FITFUL START
* Proceedings already are a `travesty,' judge is warned by defendant's `standby' attorney.

By Margo Rutledge Kissell Greene County Bureau
Published: 02/11/99 -- Page: 1A

  

  

USE LAWYERS, JUDGE URGES
TAYLOR REFUSES TO LET HIS COUNSEL TAKE OVER

By Margo Rutledge Kissell GREENE COUNTY BUREAU
Published: 02/13/99 -- Page: 1B

COURTS
TAYLOR, ESTRANGED WIFE MEET IN COURT
* In an odd twist, murder suspect acting as his own attorney cross-examines his alleged target.

By Margo Rutledge Kissell Greene County Bureau
Published: 02/18/99 -- Page: 1B

OHIO'S NEXT `VOLUNTEER'?
TAYLOR GUILTY AND EAGER TO DIE
* Saying he has nothing to live for, the retiree suggests he won't fight against execution.

By Margo Rutledge Kissell GREENE COUNTY BUREAU
Published: 02/25/99 -- Page: 1A

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File Created: 2-4-1999
Updated: 2-25-1999
Prepared by: Dayton Daily News Library staff
Sources: DDN reports