Saturday, October 1, 2022

Ebby’s shooter pleads guilty to 7 felonies; prosecutors drop attempted murder charge

Michael Sean Taylor (Courtesy VPRJ)
Michael Sean Taylor (Courtesy VPRJ)

A man who shot a painter at Ebby’s Auto Painting & Collision Repair in July has pleaded guilty to seven felony charges — but attempted first-degree murder is not one of them.

Michael Sean Taylor, 41, of Hampton, entered a plea agreement Thursday morning in the York-Poquoson Circuit Court.

As part of the agreement, Taylor pleaded guilty to three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, shooting into an occupied building or dwelling, two counts of abduction and aggravated malicious wounding.

In turn, prosecutors dropped an attempted murder charge and a fourth use of a firearm in the commission of a felony charge.

Judge Richard Rizk accepted Taylor’s plea, convicting him on all seven charges.

Taylor is scheduled for sentencing June 28 at 1 p.m. He faces up to life plus 39 years in prison.

According to York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office investigators, Taylor shot Joey St. Clair, an auto painter at Ebby’s, on July 25. Investigators said the shooting was related to a domestic situation.

St. Clair survived the incident, but still struggles with injuries sustained during the shooting, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Krystyn Reid said Thursday.

A criminal complaint filed in the York-Poquoson General District Court says Taylor approached an employee outside Ebby’s and demanded to see “Joey the painter.”

Taylor then shot a handgun down into a pillar at the front entrance of the business.

The suspect being escorted out of Ebby’s after being taken into custody. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)

The 41-year-old forced the man and a second employee to take him to the back of the garage where St. Clair was working. While being lead to the back of the auto body shop, Taylor fired another shot into a vehicle.

When the three men went into another bay where St. Clair was working, Taylor fired a round into St. Clair’s abdomen, causing him to fall to the floor.

Taylor shot St. Clair several more times when he was on the ground, documents state.

Taylor barricaded himself inside the building for several hours following the shooting, sheriff’s office officials said.

The complaint states Taylor admitted to shooting St. Clair after he was apprehended.

“The accused admitted to getting up the morning of 7/25/2017, retrieving two of his handguns and a shotgun, and going to Ebby’s with the intention of shooting Joseph St. Clair,” the complaint states. “During the interview, the accused stated that he ‘…hopes that mother f—-r dies.’”

WYDaily archives were used in this story.

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Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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