Arrest made in New Year’s Day family feud death

Baton Rouge police late Saturday arrested the man suspected of fatally striking Michael Taylor Sr. in the head with a tire iron during a New Year’s Day brawl that police have described as a “family feud.”

James Dean, 3754 Byron St., Baton Rouge, was booked into Parish Prison on a count of second-degree murder, prison records show.

Officials initially expected Taylor, 53, to survive the attack, but he died at about 8 p.m. Jan. 7.

Witnesses told police Dean was swinging the tire iron around during the fight, according to Dean’s arrest warrant. He admitted to swinging the tire iron around, but denied hitting Taylor with the tool, the warrant said.

Dean is being held in lieu of a $200,000 bail, online court records show.

Attempts to contact Taylor’s family were unsuccessful Sunday afternoon.

The attack occurred during a brawl at 1201 Convention St., at about 7:40 p.m.

Kimberly Dean, 40, who police say was intoxicated, called her sons, James Dean, 23, and Devin Dean, 21, and asked them to help her during a fight because people were jumping on her, according to court records.

The two men picked up their mother at her house on South 11th Street and drove around the corner to a house on Convention Street.

The three got out and “aggressively approached numerous people who were standing in front of a residence” and began fighting in the street, records said.

Sometime during the fight, Michael Taylor II, 30, grabbed a handgun and fired a shot into the air in an attempt to scare people, court records say.

After Michael Taylor II fired the shot, James Dean allegedly grabbed a tire iron and cracked the elder Taylor in the head, according to court records.

After the attack with the tire iron, the Deans got in their car and as they fled the area, Michael Taylor II allegedly fired a shot at the car.

James Dean was initially booked into Parish Prison after the fight on a count of inciting a riot, but posted a $2,000 bail and was released, according to booking records.

His mother and brother were also arrested on counts of inciting a riot in the Jan. 1 brawl. Both have since posted bail and were released from Parish Prison.

Police initially accused Michael Taylor II of striking his father in the head, but he was later arrested on counts of attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault, rioting, illegal discharge of a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm that stem from the riot and the shots he allegedly fired into the Deans’ car, striking the driver’s side headrest when the Dean family fled the scene. He has since been released from Parish Prison, according to online prison records.

In a separate incident, James Dean pleaded guilty to simple battery and simple criminal damage to property April 25.