After Robert Taylor walked into a Charlotte courtroom on Monday, he told a judge he would not fight efforts to bring him to South Carolina to face child abuse charges involving his infant son.
Before he left, the 45-year-old, heavily tattooed York, S.C., police corporal exchanged a lingering glance with his father and teenage son sitting at the back of the room.
“He’s an excellent man,” his father, retired Baptist minister the Rev. Robert Taylor, said as he walked from the courtroom. “That’s all I’m going to say.”
Left unanswered for now: Are two South Carolina police officers guilty of seriously injuring their infant son?
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The baby had been rushed to a Charlotte hospital in February with brain and neck injuries, and seizurelike symptoms.
The younger Taylor, who his father says has been a law enforcement officer for more than 15 years, is accused of neglect and inflicting great bodily injury on a child. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison. He resigned his police job Wednesday.
Taylor’s wife – Chester, S.C., police Sgt. Audrey Colli Schurig, 36 – also faces the neglect charge in connection with the case. It carries up to 10 years in prison.
Last week, Chester police said Schurig was suspended without pay and that her job status could change in the days ahead. A police spokeswoman refused to comment Monday.
The couple was arrested Friday after Rock Hill police requested a state investigation. The two officers will be prosecuted in York County. Arrest warrants say their son was injured between Nov. 30 and Feb. 15.
The infant had been hospitalized in Rock Hill, then flown to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte. A hospital spokeswoman said Monday she could not find the child in hospital records.
On Monday, Schurig was the first to appear before Mecklenburg District Judge Karen Eady-Williams. Her attorney, David Lange of Charlotte, said his client wants to get out of the Mecklenburg jail on bond so she can turn herself in to York County authorities.
Taylor followed his wife by about five minutes. He told the judge he would not contest his extradition. He turned toward to the back of the courtroom and stared for a few seconds at his father and son before being led out a side door.
Efforts on Monday afternoon to reach Taylor’s attorney, Jim Boyd of Rock Hill, were unsuccessful. Researcher Maria David contributed.