Woman says boxing champ Taylor threatened to kill children

  • This booking photo provided by the Pulaski County Sheriffs Office show Jermain Taylor. A Little Rock woman said Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, that Taylor threatened to fatally shoot her 5, 3 and 1-year-old children, and that she knocked the gun away after the cursing middleweight boxing champion put the weapon to her husband's head.

    This booking photo provided by the Pulaski County Sheriffs Office show Jermain Taylor. A Little Rock woman said Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, that Taylor threatened to fatally shoot her 5, 3 and 1-year-old children, and that she knocked the gun away after the cursing middleweight boxing champion put the weapon to her husband's head. (AP Photo/ Pulaski County Sheriffs Office)

 
By KEN MILLER
Associated Press
Updated 1/20/2015 10:27 AM

A Little Rock woman said Tuesday that Jermain Taylor threatened to fatally shoot her 5-, 3-, and 1-year-old children, and that she knocked the gun away after the cursing middleweight boxing champion put the weapon to her husband's head.

Toya Smith, 40, said she and her family were having a good time at the city's Martin Luther King Jnr. Day parade Monday when Taylor produced his boxing belt and asked to get a photo with her son. Smith says her family had never met Taylor before and that it appeared he had been drinking.

 

"He bent down to give my son the belt and he almost fell over and dropped the belt, and he thought my baby dropped the belt," Smith said.

She said Taylor -- who already faces charges in an August shooting in Maumelle, Arkansas -- produced a gun and fired two shots into the air and threatened to kill her husband.

"He put (the gun) up against his temple, I jumped in front of it and it went off up into the air," injuring her husband's ear, Smith said. "He was going to shoot him, but I saw it, he was going to kill him and I had to hit the gun."

Taylor's attorneys did not immediately return phone calls for comment Tuesday.

A Little Rock police report says Taylor was arrested without incident and a gun was recovered. He is jailed on charges of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a minor and drug possession.

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Smith said she and her family tried to get into their car and leave, but Taylor continued pointing the gun toward the vehicle.

"He was pointing at the kids, so I jumped in front of him again and said 'Please don't shoot my kids,"' Smith said.

She said Taylor cursed, saying that he didn't care about the children or her and that he was going to kill her husband.

Smith said her son and two daughters were unable to sleep and cried most of the night.

Taylor, who won the International Boxing Federation middleweight title in October, faces first-degree battery and first-degree terroristic threatening charges in connection with the August incident in which Pulaski County sheriff's deputies say Taylor shot his cousin.

He has pleaded not guilty in that case, and a trial has been set for June.

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