The PC Free Zone is reporting that an 80-year-old retired Green Beret has been tried by his peers after shooting an intruder in his Knoxville, Tennessee home. He is the oldest member of Chapter XXXIII of the Special Forces Association.
BREVARD, Jan. 19, 2008 – Retired Army Green Beret Smokey Taylor got his court martial this weekend and came away feeling good about it.
Taylor, at age 80 the oldest member of Chapter XXXIII of the Special Forces Association, was on trial by his peers under the charge of ‘failing to use a weapon of sufficient caliber’ in the shooting of an intruder at his home in Knoxville, TN, in December.
The entire affair, of course, was very much tongue in cheek. Taylor had been awakened in the early morning hours of Dec. 17, 2007, when an intruder broke into his home. He investigated the noises with one of his many weapons in hand.
When the intruder threatened him with a knife, Taylor warned him, then brought his .22 caliber pistol to bear and shot him right between the eyes.
‘That boy had the hardest head I’ve ever seen,’ Taylor said after his trial. ‘The bullet bounced right off.’ The impact knocked the would-be thief down momentarily. He crawled out of the room then got up and ran out the door and down the street. Knoxville police apprehended him a few blocks away and he now awaits trial in the Knox County jail.
The charges against Taylor were considered to be serious. He is a retired Special Forces Weapons Sergeant with extensive combat experience during the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
‘Charges were brought against him under the premise that he should have saved the county and taxpayers the expense of a trial,’ said Chapter XXXIII President Bill Long of Asheville. ‘He could have used a .45 or .38. The .22 just wasn’t big enough to get the job done.’
Taylor’s defense attorney, another retired Weapons Sergeant, disagreed. He said Taylor had done the right thing in choosing to arm himself with a .22.
‘If he’d used a .45 or something like that the round would have gone right through the perp, the wall, the neighbor’s wall and possibly injured some innocent child asleep in its bed,’ he said. ‘I believe the evidence shows that Smokey Taylor exercised excellent judgment in his choice of weapons. He did nothing wrong, and clearly remains to this day an excellent weapons man.’
Counsel for the defense then floated a theory as to why the bullet bounced off the perpâ€™s forehead.
‘He was victimized by old ammunition,’ he said, ‘just as he was in Korea and again in Vietnam, when his units were issued ammo left over from World War II.’
Taylor said nothing in his own defense, choosing instead to allow his peers to debate the matter. After the trial he said the ammunition was indeed old and added the new information that the perp had soiled his pants as he crawled out of the house.
‘I would have had an even worse mess to clean up if it had gone through his forehead,’ Taylor said. ‘It was good for both of us that it didn’t.’
Following testimony from both sides, Taylor was acquitted of the charges and was given a round of applause.
Meanwhile, back in Knox County, the word is out: Donâ€™t go messing with Smokey Taylor. He just bought a whole bunch of fresh ammo.
Tribune Editor Bill Fishburne is a member of the Larry Thorne Chapter XXXIII of the Special Forces Association.
James T “Smokey” Taylor, D-529, of Knoxville, TN and an original member of Chapter 33, has been nominated by the American Legion, Post #2, Knoxville, Tennessee, to serve as Grand Chef De Gare du Tennessee. This is an honor Smokey richly deserves.
WHEREAS: Voiture 353 du Tennessee has as a member in good standing a highly qualified yageur Militaire with impeccable qualifications and character, and
WHEREAS: This Voyageur Militaire has served his country honorably during the period from October 1950 to October 1970 including service in-country during the Viet Nam War (Airborne All TheWay!), and
WHEREAS: This Voyageur Militaire has served the American Legion continuously since March 1976, and has served his Post, District, and Department in many various offices to include Post Vice Commander, Commander and Adjutant, and
WHEREAS: This Voyageur Militaire has served La SocietÃ© des 40 Hommes et 8 Chevaux continuously since March 1977, and has served his Voiture in every elected office to include Chef de Gare, and has served on many committees, and
WHEREAS: This Voyageur Militaire has served the Grande Voiture du Tennessee in the elected offices of Grand Cheminot and Grand Chef de Train (East), and has served on several committees, most recently as Grand Directeur POW/MIA, and
WHEREAS: As Locale Membership Directeur, this Voyageur Militaire has led Voiture 353 to two consecutive years of 100% membership, attaining 118% for the current year, now
Therefore be it resolved: Voiture 353 du Tennessee places in nomination for the high office of Grand Chef de Gare du Tennessee for the year 2003-2004 the name of Voyageur Militaire James T. Taylor.
Approved In Regularly Scheduled Promenade, held at American Legion Post # 2, Knoxville, TN, December 7th, 2002.
(signed) ERNEST W. BOLTON – Chef de Gare, V-353
WILLIAM JETT – Correspondant, V-353