TRUE CRIME: PAWN SHOP HOMICIDE
After her husband announced plans to divorce her, a woman coldheartedly pawned her wedding and engagement rings and used the money to buy a gun to kill him!
But the tragedy was no surprise to victim Michael Taylor’s mother. When he told her about the split the night before the murder, she warned him that his scheming wife Pamela would do something drastic.
“I said, ‘Please be careful, Michael. She will kill you before she lets you leave her,’ and that’s exactly what she did,” recalled the grieving mom, Diane Welch.
Pamela, 40, and 39-year-old Michael, a maintenance supervisor at a management company, had been sweethearts at Kingsbury High School in Memphis, Tenn., where he played football and was a state champion pole vaulter.
She was pregnant with their daughter when she graduated, but they drifted apart and married other people.
The couple stayed in touch because of their daughter, and after divorcing their spouses, they married in 2007. Two years later, Michael told Pamela, an unemployed nurse, that he wanted a divorce.
“He’d e-mailed his boss to drop her from all his benefits, his life insurance, health insurance, things of that nature,” prosecutor Missy Branham, an assistant district attorney for Shelby County, told The ENQUIRER.
But Pamela wasn’t about to let him go.
On Dec. 22, 2009, she pawned her wedding and engagement rings and some other jewelry for $400. Then she went to a gun shop and bought a .38-caliber snub-nose pistol.
The next morning, Pamela hid the gun in the sleeve of her sweatshirt and shot Michael twice – once in the back of the head and once in the heart. She then called 911 and claimed Michael had threatened to kill her in a steroid rage. She said the gun discharged as she tried to push him away.
But the murder scene seemed to be staged – with barstools overturned while delicate Christmas decorations remained untouched – and prosecutors decided to charge her with first-degree murder.
In court, Pamela’s attorney Andre Wharton portrayed her as an abused wife. He claimed that Michael had previously threatened her with a screw-driver and once hit her in the head with a large phone book.
“She’d seen him angry before, but this time things were different,” said Wharton. “She feared for her life. Ms. Taylor acted in self-defense.”
Prosecutors admitted Michael used steroids but said Pamela was the only one who ever claimed he was violent.
The accused took the stand at her trial, saying: “I grieve with all of you. Dec. 23, 2009 was a day of pain and grief that I’ll live with forever.”
Despite that, jurors deadlocked 11 to 1 on the first-degree murder charge and instead convicted Pamela of second-degree murder. On Jan. 18, 2012, she was sentenced to 21 years in prison without parole.