Father, son appear in court charged with hate crime in Turlock bar incident

01/23/2014 7:58 PM

01/23/2014 7:59 PM

A father and his adult son appeared in court Thursday afternoon for the first time since their arrest on suspicion of committing a hate crime in an attack on a woman last month in a Turlock bar.

Eddie Taylor, 54, pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied the hate crime allegations against him. Eddie Taylor II, 25, did not enter a plea because he did not have an attorney with him.

Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge David Vanderwall appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent Eddie Taylor II and postponed his arraignment until today. He and his father are scheduled to return to court this morning so the attorneys can argue over their $50,000 bail amount. Both were free on bail Thursday.

Deputy District Attorney Beth O’Hara Owen wanted to provide the court some details about the alleged crimes, because she is seeking an increased bail amount for the Taylors. Vanderwall acknowledged that $50,000 is lower than the typical bail amount set for such charges and allegations.

But Defense Attorney Tai Bogan, who is representing the father, said it’s required that defense attorneys be notified two days in advance before arguments can be made over bail issues. He said he didn’t have any police reports to adequately argue on behalf of his client.

Bogan said he would be ready to argue over bail today. There’s a chance the public defender assigned to defend the son could want two days’ notice, which means the arguments over bail could have to wait until next week.

The Taylors have been charged with battery causing serious bodily injury and assault likely to produce great bodily injury in connection with the assault on the woman, according to a criminal complaint filed in court Jan. 14. Those charges are accompanied by special allegations indicating the crimes were committed because of the woman’s race.

The defendants also have been charged with misdemeanor battery on a man who reportedly tried to intervene. The alleged victims are identified in the criminal complaint as “Jane Doe” and “John Doe.”

The incident occurred shortly after 2 a.m. Dec. 23 at Staley’s Club. Turlock police said several people were involved, and the fight appeared to be motivated on the basis of a hate crime.

The victim’s mother told The Bee that her daughter was assaulted because she is black. She also said the two men repeatedly called her daughter a racial epithet while beating her unconscious.

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