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84-year-old man who admitted to killing his wife near Smith Mountain Lake died from COVID-19 complications

Donald Taylor was facing a second-degree murder charge

Taylor’s husband, 84-year-old Donald Taylor, was at the house and admitted to killing his wife.
Taylor’s husband, 84-year-old Donald Taylor, was at the house and admitted to killing his wife. (WSLS)

MONETA, Va.Feb. 24, 2021 update

Donald Taylor died from COVID-19 complications, according to the Medical Examiner’s office in Roanoke.

Authorities previously announced that Taylor had died earlier this month without a cause of death provided.

He died while released from custody on medical furlough, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.


Feb. 19, 2021 Update

An 84-year-old man who “woke up that morning and knew he was going to kill his wife” has died.

Donald Taylor died on Feb. 8, 2021, at Roanoke Memorial Hospital while released on medical furlough, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.


ORIGINAL STORY (Thursday, Dec. 16, 2020)

A man has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection with his wife’s death in Moneta.

84-year-old Donald Taylor called 911 Thursday just after 8 a.m. to report the homicide after he killed his wife, 82-year-old Clara Taylor, according to warrants obtained by 10 News.

Deputies arrived to the house on Mallard Cove Road to find Clara Taylor dead in her bed with apparent stab wounds to her face and neck, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Donald Taylor allegedly killed his wife with a butcher knife, according to warrants, which also state that he “grabbed the knife and stabbed her until he knew she was dead.”

Warrants reveal that Donald Taylor allegedly told deputies at the scene he “woke up that morning and knew he was going to kill his wife.”

It’s still not clear what the motive was.

Donald Taylor is currently being held in the Franklin County Jail without bond. Warrants show he waived his Miranda rights during his testimony.


About the Authors:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.