Joseph Jordan Taylor to Enter Court Today as Lone Defendant in Alleged Murder-for-Hire Plot

Joseph Jordan Taylor has five prior strike convictions, authorities say.
Joseph Jordan Taylor has five prior strike convictions, authorities say.
Courtesy of the Huntington Beach Police Department

A member of a well-known surf industry family is scheduled to be arraigned this morning on charges of attempting to hire hitmen to kill a woman he knew, according to prosecutors.

Joseph Jordan Taylor to be Arraigned in Murder Try That Led to Arrests of Brother and Father

It's actually a lighter load for the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) than it was last month as four people were originally arrested for being part of the alleged murder conspiracy in Huntington Beach.

Now, only Joseph Jordan Taylor is scheduled to be arraigned at the Westminster courthouse at 8:30 this morning on charges of attempting to hire hitmen (who were actually undercover officers) to kill a woman, the OCDA says.

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Taylor was originally arrested last month within hours of the arrests of the 29-year-old's father, John Reid Taylor of Huntington Beach, John's other son, Matthew Austin Taylor of Long Beach as well as Travis James Sprague of Long Beach.

At the time, Huntington Beach Police Officer Jennifer Marlatt indicated that Sprague and the three Taylors were booked on suspicion of solicitation to commit murder. But within days of the arrests, the OCDA declined to file charges against Sprague and John and Matthew Taylor.

Joseph Taylor is accused of paying phony hitmen money to murder the unidentified woman, with the agreement to pay them more money once she was murdered, according to the OCDA, which notes that shortly after paying the officers, Taylor was arrested.

In an email to the Weekly, Matthew Taylor blamed alcoholism for his older brother's troubles.

"Joe [has] been drinking a lot lately when he is not supposed to," Matthew Taylor writes. "He is a recovering alcoholic."

Shortly after Joseph Taylor's arrest, prosecutors indicated the defendant has five prior strike convictions for: kidnapping and carjacking in 2009, a DUI causing injury and hit and run with great bodily injury in 2007, and making criminal threats in '07. But, according to Matthew Taylor, "The only thing he has on his record is a DUI."

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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