A retired DUI defense attorney and his wife are reported deceased and is being investigated as a possible murder suicide.
Lawrence Eric Taylor, 81, and Judy Taylor, 75, were identified by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner on Oct. 4, according to media reports.
*Update October 6, 2023 1:00pm PST: Daily Mail has reported that the LA County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled Lawrence Taylors’ death as a suicide and Judy’s as a murder (source). Long Beach Post has reported that the Taylors’ son indicated Lawrence Taylor may have done this to end the suffering of Judy Taylor who had advance Parkinson’s disease (source).
*Update October 24, 2023 3:30pm PST: The obituary for Judy Strother-Taylor has been published here.
Over the course of his career, Taylor handled murder cases but specialized in DUI defense for more than 51 years. He is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley and the UCLA School of Law.
In recent years, Christopher Taylor joined his father at the firm The Law Offices of Taylor & Taylor, which has offices in Huntington Beach, Irvine, Torrance, Long Beach, Rancho Cucamonga and Riverside.
A receptionist who answered the phone at Taylor & Taylor declined to comment.
The Taylors were discovered in the 5600 block of Corso Di Napoli at 6:33 a.m. by officers who had responded to a request for a welfare check.
The elderly couple were not answering the phone or front door of their residence, according to a police statement. Judy Taylor allegedly had a gunshot wound to the upper body and Mr. Taylor had an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound to the upper body.
Shortly thereafter, personnel from the County of Los Angeles Medical Examiner and the Long Beach Fire Department arrived and declared the parents deceased.
In an email, the Long Beach Police Department told OrangeCountyLawyers.com that the investigation is ongoing.
In addition to being a former Marine, LA Deputy District Attorney and Fulbright professor of law, Taylor authored the book, Drunk Driving Defense and is a co-founder of the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD). Taylor served on the board of regents for the 2300-member educational institution and as a dean.
Attorneys who worked at Taylor & Taylor, Lane Scherer and Jeanne Normandeau did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but Mr. Taylor is included in the “In Memoriam” section of the NCDD website at the time of this writing and his Wikipedia page has been updated with comment on this incident.
Neither Rhea Kirk, NCDD executive director, nor NCDD Dean Virginia Landry, known as Orange County’s DUI Queen, responded to requests for comment.
Taylor’s website, DUI Central, states that he was an Orange County Deputy Public Defender for more than 10 years where he was the supervising attorney for misdemeanor cases. He was one of only five lawyers in California to be board certified in DUI defense by the NCDD American Bar Association.
The NCDD recognized Mr. Taylor with an achievement award at Harvard Law School and in 2018 he was selected by Southern California peer attorney nominations as a super lawyer.
*Note: This article will be updated as new facts and public information about this matter are received.
Juliette Fairley covers legal topics for various publications including the Southern California Record, the Epoch Times and Pacer Monitor-News. Prior to discovering she had an ease and facility for law, Juliette lived in Orange County and Los Angeles where she pursued acting in television and film.