A Maryland man has been arrested and charged in the death of a father-of-three who authorities say was severely beaten in his front yard while protecting his children from a college fight that returned to the family home in May.
Trevor Garrett Taylor, 26, is charged with manslaughter, three counts of second degree assault and one count each of affray – a lightly charged common law offense which means any type of public fight that instills terror in onlookers — and disorderly conduct, according to the Anne Arundel County Police Department.
In a news release, the AACPD said the case had been presented to the state attorney’s office for review. The accused was arrested on Tuesday on a warrant issued by a commissioner of the court.
On May 20, 43-year-old Christopher Michael Wright died of a traumatic brain injury. The underlying violence happened the day before — starting at Brooklyn Park Middle School — when Wright’s 14-year-old son got into a fight with another teenager, Taylor’s nephew, police say in charging documents obtained by the Capital Gazette.
Young Wright, apparently uninterested in the fight, which would have cost upwards of $30, went home and walked in.
But law enforcement says it wasn’t just another teenager who followed the Wright boy to his residence on Arundel Road West in Brooklyn. The AACPD initially described the suspects in the case as three to four white males in their 20s and 30s.
Meanwhile, her father, initially unaware of what was happening, was outside gardening at the time, police say.
Christopher Wright then allegedly entered his house, questioned his son about what was going on and returned to the front yard. It was then that Taylor allegedly confronted the elder Wright and threatened him – demanding that the boys be allowed to finish their fight.
The stay-at-home dad said that was not the case.
This refusal reportedly enraged Taylor and his team – and the other boy’s uncle threatened to enter the Wright residence.
“[I]“It became clear to the Wright family that Trevor Taylor and his associates were not going to leave and were likely to break into the house and attack them,” police wrote in a charging document.
As the threats continued, police say Wright punched Taylor in the face. A scuffle ensued and the accused allegedly used a blocking maneuver – knocking the victim to the ground and his head hitting the pavement. Police say Taylor punched Wright four times in the face after that before eventually fleeing the scene.
Wright’s death was ultimately ruled a blunt trauma homicide.
Law enforcement was slow to sort out the order of events, a police spokesperson told local ABC affiliate WMAR.
“The adults on one side went to the child’s house on the other side, and that’s when this altercation started, first verbally and then obviously a physical altercation ensued. ensued between adults later,” Anne Arundel County Police Lt. Jacklyn Davis said on television. station. “What detectives found was that the deceased, in this case, threw the first physical punch in this altercation, so there was a lot of debate around the duty to retreat versus the self-defense and everything that happens in a case that is involved. ”
In comments to the Gazette, defense attorney Edward Middlebrooks said Taylor had a “completely different” perspective on what happened at the Wrights’ home on that fateful day in late May.
On Wednesday, the defendant was held without bail – with the court citing his influence over the children involved and ultimately finding him a threat to public safety.
“I’m sure if everyone could go back, I hope they would act differently,” Anne Arundel District Judge Sidney Butcher said in comments reported by the Gazette. “What I’m trying to figure out is…why he went to that house.”
Wright remembers his family as a devoted father, his fiancee’s best friend, a man who loved stargazing and had a gift for gardening. A GoFundMe describes him as an “incredible father and life partner”.
“He was everybody’s friend,” Wright’s fiancée, Tracy Karopchinsky, told local CBS affiliate WJZ. “I mean, just the outpouring that we’ve received from friends and just, they’re really, really going to miss someone with a really big heart. He loved beyond.
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