Crime

86-year-old man pleads guilty to assisting in his wife's suicide

The Taylors' car was discovered in Montaña de Oro State Park, at the end of Pecho Valley Road.
The Taylors' car was discovered in Montaña de Oro State Park, at the end of Pecho Valley Road. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

George Taylor, the 86-year-old Los Osos man whose wife died as part of a suicide pact last week, pleaded guilty to a charge of assisted suicide in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Wednesday.

Taylor was originally charged with the murder of his 81-year-old wife, Gewynn Marian Taylor. But the District Attorney's Office changed the charge to assisted suicide on Dec. 13.

A psychological evaluation was also submitted to the court, but its contents are confidential. Judge Ginger Garrett ordered that Taylor be placed on probation, not in jail, while awaiting sentencing on Jan. 16. He will be monitored by GPS until then.

Around 11:30 p.m. Dec. 10, a state park ranger stopped Taylor's Toyota Corolla as he drove through Montaña de Oro State Park. The ranger asked Taylor to roll down his window, but instead Taylor, who seemed disoriented, opened the door.

"You can take me in now, but I want to talk to my daughter first," Taylor said.

Seeing a figure in the back seat, the ranger asked if Taylor had a mannequin. Taylor said, "No, that's my wife." When the ranger asked if she was all right, Taylor responded, "No, she is dead. She has been dead since sunset."

Gewynn Taylor had a plastic bag covering her head, which was cinched closed around the neck. When the ranger asked George Taylor, "Did you do this?" Taylor responded, "Yes, I did it. We had a pact. A suicidepact."

Taylor told the ranger he had cut his own wrists, neck and body and tried to suffocate himself, but wasn't able to take his life. When the ranger asked whether he or his wife had been ill, Taylor said they were both healthy. Then he added that he had been extremely depressed.

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