A paraplegic convicted in May of voluntary manslaughter with a deadly weapon for killing a man almost three years ago, was sentenced to five to 15 years in a Nevada prison Wednesday.
In October 2006, authorities said that Keith Currie had a dispute with 20-year-old Andrew “Kyle” Taylor. Currie followed Taylor in a vehicle and shot him outside his home near Durango Drive and Cheyenne Avenue. Prosecutors had sought a first-degree murder conviction against Currie.
The 21-year-old claimed self-defense. He told police Taylor and a friend had bullied him and were coming toward his car when he fired a single shot.
Currie also was convicted of discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle.
Sitting in his wheelchair before Judge David Barker Wednesday, Currie apologized for shooting Taylor. With his voice cracking and his words barely audible, Currie said, “I’m sorry to the family.”
Defense attorney Dayvid Figler argued that his client should be given probation. The jury’s dismissal of the murder charge and conviction for voluntary manslaughter showed that Taylor had “committed a serious and highly provoking injury that incited the defendant,” Figler said.
Also, Currie’s health condition makes him a “prisoner of his own body,” Figler said.
In an emotional account of the son they lost, Taylor’s parents pleaded for Barker to give the maximum sentence of 35 years for his two convictions.
His mother, Karen Taylor, explained the pain and anguish she suffered at the loss of her son. “I cannot tell you how many times I wished I would have been the one who had died,” she said.
The victim’s father, Anthony Taylor, described the shooting as a senseless act that turned his life into a “never-ending nightmare.”
He was also critical of the jury’s decision to convict Currie of voluntary manslaughter and not murder and was outraged that Currie could be given probation. “Does my son’s life mean nothing?” a tearful Anthony Taylor asked Barker.
The judge said he struggled with what sentence to hand down. “You took a life,” Barker told Currie, “and I don’t believe probation is appropriate.”
Afterwards, Anthony Taylor said justice was not served. Five years in prison was not punishment enough for the man who “murdered” his son, Anthony Taylor said.
Barker denied a request from defense attorneys to release Currie on bail while the verdict is appealed. Figler said he will file an emergency appeal of Barker’s decision with the state Supreme Court because he does not believe the Nevada prison system can handle Currie’s medical issues.
Currie was placed on house arrest before the trial because the Clark County Detention Center could not provide adequate medical care for the paraplegic, Figler said.
Defense attorneys plan on appealing the verdict on several points, including that the jury considered evidence during deliberations that was not brought up at trial.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-1039.