Captain gets 50 years in sodomy case
By Capt. Christine D. Millette
/ Published March 19, 2007
ANDREWS AFB, Md. --
The recent 50-year sentencing of a captain began with an unusual report received by Detachment 309 on the last day of February 2006.
An active-duty man, a helicopter mechanic stationed at Hurlburt Field, Fla., claimed he was drugged and then possibly sexually assaulted by a European male he met at a local bar in Fort Walton Beach.
"We took the initial allegation and conducted other investigative steps," said Special Agent Kelly McPherson, Det. 309 agent. "Following the interview, the potential victim self-admitted into alcohol rehabilitation. His allegation had to sit dormant as we awaited his return from rehab to gain additional information."
It turned out that Det. 309 did not have to wait long. The detachment received another allegation of sexual assault March 24.
"A team of our agents headed to the emergency room where they discovered the alleged victim was a male C-130 navigator, who was on temporary duty to Hurlburt Field," said SA Christopher Church, Det. 309 commander. He said that agents began noticing similarities between the man and the helicopter mechanic after interviewing him. "This man claimed he was drugged at the same bar as our first victim, and then "gang raped" by a European man and another assailant," said SA Church.
"We sprung into action," SA McPherson said, "as there was a possibility a homosexual serial rapist lurked in the community. We spent the entire night providing a description of the suspect to local patrons at various bars in the area. At the bar that both victims had mentioned, we finally received a name - Devery Lane Taylor. We brought this name back to the detachment and ran it through the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles database."
A driver's license photo of Mr. Taylor was retrieved from the database.
"One of the agents from the office said, 'Hey! I went to (Air and Space Basic Course) with that guy!'" SA McPherson said.
The agents then typed the name into the global e-mail address book, and discovered Mr. Taylor was actually Capt. Devery Taylor, chief of patient administration at Eglin AFB, Fla.
"We began working the long process of obtaining an off-base search warrant and preparing for Taylor's apprehension," SA McPherson said. "After we re-interviewed the first two victims and provided a photo lineup with the captain's picture, we obtained probable cause to apprehend Captain Taylor and search his premises."
The captain was arrested on Eglin March 29 and taken to the local sheriff's department for questioning. A five-hour interview took place, in which Captain Taylor claimed the C-130 navigator tried to rape him. The Det. 309 agents searched his residence and seized approximately 50 pieces of evidence after the interview.
Next, a press release was issued by OSI. A civilian medic from Pensacola reported Captain Taylor had drugged and raped him as well. Det. 309 agents began conducting rigorous interviews with the captain's known associates.
"One man, an aircraft mechanic stationed at Hurlburt, claimed Captain Taylor had also drugged and raped him," SA McPherson said. "This brought the total number of victims found to four."
"We were contacted April 19 by a man who cryptically reported he had information about Captain Taylor," SA Church said. "Our agents met with the man, assessed his information, and recruited him as a confidential source." The man provided the names of other men who could potentially be victims of Captain Taylor's actions. The agents verified the information with two men: one, a civilian retail clerk in Pensacola; the other, a Physician's Assistant stationed at Maxwell AFB, Ala.
"Our source reported March 31 that Captain Taylor was withdrawing large amounts of money and had spoken about leaving the country and seeking asylum in the Middle East," SA McPherson said. Agents then obtained authorization to place Captain Taylor in pre-trial confinement, where he remained until the commencement of the trial.
SA McPherson said that in the following months Captain Taylor hired a civilian defense lawyer and prepared for trial. Captain Taylor's trial began Feb. 19.
"After two weeks of intense and graphic testimony, a military jury found Captain Taylor guilty on all counts of forcible sodomy, kidnapping and unlawful entry," SA McPherson said. The captain was subsequently sentenced to 50 years in prison. "At the age of 38, this was essentially a life sentence for Captain Taylor," she said.
"It is not typical in OSI to see heavy sentencing for the majority of our sexual assault cases," SA Church said. "The conclusion of this case shows the extraordinary teamwork and creativity Kelly and the other 309 agents used to put a serial rapist in prison."