Antoinette Williams thought she was waiting for two teenagers to finish buying weed at a rural Milan house when she heard gunfire.
It was early in the morning of April 14 and Williams parked her 2013 Dodge Dart near the home at 11711 Ridgewood Road. She waited with her sister, Tationna. The two boys were Tationna Taylor’s friends.
Moments after the shooting, the two boys scrambled back into the Dart. One of them was shot.
At 12:44 a.m., while Williams drove away from the scene, Melodi Taylor placed a phone call to 911. She said someone had entered the house and shot her 17-year-old son, Danny Taylor.
Danny Taylor died in the house.
Williams later told investigators from the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department that she did not know Danny Taylor lived in the house, or that the teen boys had gone there to rob him.
People are also reading…
She also told investigators she did not know the teen boys, 16-year-old Napoleon Jackson and the 15-year-old later identified only as “JS”.
Jackson and JS were later charged with first-degree murder and home invasion.
Witness statements, found in court documents, tell a story of how and why Jackson and the others went to the house that night, and what happened after they fled the scene.
‘An easy lick’
Jackson didn’t pick Danny Taylor or his home out of the blue.
Tationna Taylor told investigators she and a woman named Jaya Clark had stolen from Danny Taylor a few weeks before he was killed.
Tationna Taylor described how Clark convinced Danny Taylor to take her to SouthPark Mall. While they were at the mall, Tationna Taylor said she entered Danny Taylor’s house and stole several thousand dollars.
Tationna Taylor told investigators she saw Danny Taylor as “an easy lick” — someone who was easy to rob.
The robbery on the morning of April 14 was not easy. Danny Taylor’s father, David Taylor, told investigators that he and Melodi were sleeping upstairs when they woke up to a “loud banging noise.”
David Taylor said he went downstairs, unarmed, and saw two Black males wearing face masks in Danny Taylor’s room. He said he heard a gunshot and punched one of the masked men in the face. David Taylor said he and his son were fighting with the men when more shots were fired and one of the masked men yelled out that he was shot.
David Taylor said he was struck in the back of the head, stopped fighting and saw his son on the floor, bleeding from a gunshot wound. The emergency responders arrived, they found Danny Taylor’s father performing CPR in an attempt to save his son’s life.
‘Polo loved him’
While paramedics worked on Danny Taylor, Williams drove the Dart to UnityPoint-Trinity Hospital in Rock Island. JS had been shot during the struggle in Danny Taylor’s home.
After dropping the 15-year-old off at the emergency room, Williams, Jackson and Tationna Taylor went back to Tationna Taylor’s apartment at Milan Manor. Williams said Jackson stayed there “for a few hours” before leaving when his ride arrived.
Jackson made his latest appearance in a Rock Island County Court on Friday and prosecutors called Brittany Jones, who told Judge Frank Fuhr she did not want to testify in Jackson’s trial for the murder of Danny Taylor.
Jones is JS’s mother.
“I don’t know the kid,” Jones said, gesturing toward Jackson. “I don’t know nothing. Just leave me out of it.”
But that’s not what Jones told investigators after her son was transported from UnityPoint Health-Trinity to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. She said Jackson sent her son a note through social media, apologizing for shooting him during the home invasion.
Jones told police she also overheard JS talking to Jackson on the phone. She heard JS tell Jackson he loved him and “I ain’t gonna tell them nothing.”
Jones told investigators that she became angry at JS for talking with “the boy that shot him.” JS told her that “Polo” (Jackson) loved him and that he shot Daniel Taylor to save JS’s life.
While JS was in the hospital, Jackson fled Rock Island County and moved into a home on East 22nd Street in South Newton, Iowa. He tried to enroll in the Newton School District.
He was arrested April 19 at the home on East 22nd Street.
Along with first-degree murder and home invasion charges, Jackson was charged with aggravated battery for wounding of JS.
If convicted of first-degree murder, the sentence is between 45 and 85 years, and Jackson would have to serve 100%. On the home invasion charge, he could face anywhere between 21 and 45 years.