Jermaine Taylor was an East Falmouth man, a father, determined to put his life back together after nearly a decade in prison for a drug conviction.
But last January, Jermaine was found shot in the chest, lying on the side of busy General Patton Drive. He died in the hospital.
One year later, with no arrest, his heartsick family is desperate for answers.
“ I couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t believe it, “ Jermaine’s mother, Debra Pinckney, recently told me from her home in Maine, as she held back tears. “My beautiful boy was gone.”
Jermaine Taylor struggled for most of his life, and he was murdered almost exactly one month after his release from prison.
But Jermaine’s girlfriend and mother of the couple’s children, Ashley Sylvester, told me when Jermaine was released, he came straight to her house.
She wasn’t sure she would take him back.
But she was sure Jermaine wanted to re-establish a relationship with their daughter, Angelina.
Angelina was ten years old. She was a toddler the last time she spent any significant time with her dad.
“He was finally able to do everything he wanted for Angelina,” Ashley said. “He was able to take her to school every morning, wake her up, do her hair. Anything possible that he could do for her, he did.”
Ashley tells me everything seemed to fall into place during those last weeks she shared with Jermaine. He was taking steps to get his drivers license back, to find a job. He was trying to be a good father.
Ashley said there was no warning of the nightmare to come.
Jermaine Taylor was murdered on January 27, 2018.
During the day, he hung out with some friends, including one of his codefendants. Later that night Jermaine headed to a sushi bar in Hyannis, and he called to Ashley asking her to join them.
But she stayed back at the house with her daughter, who was having a friend over.
As the night wore on, Ashley became concerned over a series of texts she received from Jermaine that suggested trouble.
“He said a lot had happened and that was pretty much it, “ Ashley told me.
I asked her, “What do you mean a lot had happened?”
“He didn't elaborate on it. That was probably the last thing he said.”
The next day, Ashley received a call from Jermaine’s mother.
Police called her at her home in Maine. They told her Jermaine was murdered.
“I couldn’t look at my dead son, “ Debra said. “I couldn't go to the funeral home and look at my child. I didn't want to remember him that way.”
A year later, there are no answers. But there is a lot of suspicion.
The office of Cape and Islands DA Michael O’Keefe told me in a statement Jermaine’s case is a very active investigation.
Jermaine Taylor had a trouble past. But he also had people in his life who cared for him, and were pulling for him. Ashley told me, when Jermaine came home, she wasn’t sure they could ever re-start their relationship. But they did. Jermaine, Ashley told me, seemed a changed man.
And proof of that is, just weeks after Jermaine’s murder, while Ashley and Debra were dealing with deep, dark pain, they got news that Ashley was pregnant.
Little Jermaine Taylor Junior is five months old now. And Ashley tells me, he is the spitting image of the father he never met.
Jermaine Senior never knew he would have another child, a son.
Today, Ashley and Debra are desperate for answers.
“More than anything, I want answers for my children. They’ve got to grow up and they are going to want more answers. I don’t have them,” Ashley said.
© 2020 Cox Media Group