Reprinted excerpts from The Miami Herald

Dolphin Dad Not Guilty in Assault on Son

Published December 4, 2002


Anthony Taylor was found not guilty this afternoon in the charge that he pulled a gun on his adoptive son, Miami Dolphin, Jason Taylor.

In the end, a three-day sports-celebrity trial came down to the recollections of two men rolling around on the floor during a family gathering. The adoptive father had a gun in an ankle holster. The son, Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, took it from him.

A Broward County jury took 45 minutes to acquit Anthony Taylor of aggravated assault with a firearm. The evidence wasn't clear enough to be certain he planned to grab the gun and threaten his adopted son with it, said Juan Nogueras, the jury foreman.

Taylor would have been sent to prison for at least three years if convicted. The case attracted broad attention because of the son's NFL stardom.

Anthony Taylor testified Wednesday that Jason Taylor tackled him to the ground.

Jason Taylor and his wife, Katina, said Tuesday that the father started the fight by flailing uncontrollably beside a kitchen table and taking his son down with him. Jason Taylor's mother, Georgia, also blamed the incident on Anthony -- from whom she's now seeking a divorce.

Defense attorney Brian Bieber told jurors that family members and Davie police offered inconsistent versions of the story. He said officers were inclined to side with the younger Taylor because he's a popular football player.

Other than 90 minutes of testimony Tuesday, Jason Taylor has declined to discuss the case or the tense relationship he's had with Anthony, who adopted him as a pre-teen. ''We'd like to keep it a personal matter,'' he said in a statement.

Prosecutor Brian Trehy used that and similar statements to portray Anthony Taylor as a controlling father and husband, intent on imposing order in his household and commanding absolute respect from his children.