The former York police officer accused of such severe violence against his infant son that the child is blind and might never recover will be allowed to get a job and go to church as he awaits trial – but he still can’t have contact with the baby’s mother, a judge said Thursday.
Robert Jeffrey Taylor, 45, is charged with child abuse causing great bodily injury after his son, now 4 months old, was found to have brain and neck injuries. He is free on $100,000 bond.
Audrey Schurig, 36, a patrol sergeant with the Chester Police Department until her arrest, is charged with child neglect. Police say she failed to protect their son, Jaxon, from Taylor’s abuse. She is free on $20,000 bond.
Both have denied the charges.
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Circuit Court Judge John C. Hayes III denied Taylor’s request to be allowed to visit Schurig before trial, which could take months to schedule. Taylor will remain under house arrest and must continue to wear an electronic monitoring device, which Hayes set as conditions for his bond last month.
When setting bonds, Hayes said, he always includes a provision that co-defendants have no contact with each other so the accused can’t “conspire” or cook up a story about the charges. Hayes did not say Taylor would do that, but he made it clear in court that would not be tolerated.
Schurig’s bond conditions allow supervised visits with Jaxon, who is in state Department of Social Services custody. Taylor is allowed no contact with his son or any other child younger than 12.
Taylor’s lawyer, Jim Boyd, has said that Taylor’s case is getting more public scrutiny and media attention because he was a police officer.
On Thursday, Hayes loosened Taylor’s bond conditions, saying Taylor could live in Rock Hill and could leave home to go to work, to church and to perform Christian music with his family. Taylor’s father is a Baptist minister.
Taylor worked for the York, Rock Hill and Lancaster police departments. Schurig worked for the York County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Tega Cay and Chester police departments.
Andrew Dys • 803-329-4065