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Wednesday October 22nd 2014

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Murder brings into question who supervises Escambia County Work Release

Jail Bars
By Jesse Farthing

The murder of Adnan Glelati, the owner of 7 Stars Auto, Inc., on Aug. 14, raises many questions about the supervisory practices of inmates in the county’s work release program, the Florida State Department of Corrections and the way the two cooperate with one another.

Justin Princes Taylor, Jr. was arrested and charged with the murder on Aug. 15. The alleged murder was committed while Taylor was incarcerated in the Escambia County Work Release Program. Taylor had been placed in the work release program through a drug court case because, according to the Florida State DOC’s Public Information Officer, the court “decided he needed more supervision” after violating his probation by testing positive for marijuana. Taylor entered the work release facility on July 25.

Who was responsible for that supervision? The county said that their only responsibility through the work release facility was to make sure Taylor stayed in overnight and checked in and out on time, but otherwise Taylor was under the supervision of his probation officers through the DOC.

Taylor has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 2005 that includes burglary, grand theft, fraud and grand theft auto.

Taylor was checking out of the work release program Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. to go to work. On Sundays he was to remain in the facility.

Taylor’s employment at Willie G’s Detailing Shop was “verified” by his probation officer on July 29 through a phone call. However, when interviewed about Taylor, Willie Gaines – owner of Willie G’s – stated that Taylor hadn’t worked for him in four to five months, had really only worked for a period of two weeks and had actually been working at 7 Stars Auto. Employees of 7 Stars Auto declined to comment.

Further digging revealed a signed document from Gaines to the DOC confirming that Taylor was employed full-time, Monday-Saturday, as of July 26, 2013 – the day after Taylor was ordered to the work release program. Gaines confirmed over the phone that he sent the letter, but added that he told the probation officer that Taylor would only actually be working “when he was needed” – which Gaines said was never necessary during the work release period.

When asked where Taylor was spending his time out on work release if not at the job he was supposed to be at, and why it wasn’t more closely followed up on, the DOC’s PIO said, “I know it seems lax – but we can only do what the court tells us,” and added that they don’t just follow offenders around.

A man, who was ordered into “closer supervision” by the court system due to his inability to stick to the terms of his probation, was ultimately not being supervised at all and allowed what seems to be complete freedom – freedom that allegedly led to the murder of Adnan Glelati.

Taylor is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 6.