Judge Sheryl B. Jolly sentenced Jeremy Taylor shortly after the Richmond County Superior Court jury convicted him of murder and aggravated assault. Jolly added a 20-year consecutive sentence for the assault conviction. Taylor, 33, caused the head wounds that killed 48-year-old Earl Bolar on Aug. 17, 2011.
Before the trial began, Taylor was offered a plea negotiation for a life sentence with the possibility of parole but rejected it, repeatedly.
Assistant District Attorney Adam Land requested the maximum sentence for Taylor. Defense attorney Peter Johnson asked the judge not to punish Taylor for exercising his right to a trial.
Jolly said Taylor could have received a lesser sentence for the early acceptance of responsibility but chose not to do that.
Taylor said he had always accepted responsibility for killing Bolar and was willing to plead guilty to manslaughter because he didn’t mean to kill him. He didn’t intend to break the jaw of another man earlier in the day on Aug. 3, 2011 – the incident that caused Taylor to be in a holding cell with Bolar and others.
Jolly explained that manslaughter in Georgia is a homicide committed while under the influence of a sudden and violent passion caused by provocation.
According to eye witnesses and a video recording, Bolar was asleep when Taylor attacked him. The medical examiner found a skull fracture that measured about five inches long, which caused Bolar’s death two weeks later.