Harlan Taylor Pleads Guilty to Stealing Car; Given 4-to-6 Year Prison Term
Casper Police Department
A Mills man on Monday pleaded guilty to stealing a car from a Casper dealership in September, and a district court judge granted his request for an immediate sentencing.
Harlan Buddy Taylor entered his guilty plea before Natrona County District Court Judge Thomas Sullins.
As part of the plea agreement by Assistant District Attorney Mike Schafer and Public Defender Curtis Cheney, Sullins agreed to immediately sentence Taylor to a four- to six-year prison term with no probation because of his previous criminal history.
Schafer said Taylor was in prison from 2007 to 2011 for a previous felony, and had multiple misdemeanor convictions since his release.
He had no family or friends present at his sentencing.
Taylor exhibited emotional swings from quiet responses to Sullins to interruptions such as when he questioned the judge's routine comments about felony convictions barring the possession of firearms.
Sullins responded that the state follows federal guidelines about firearms and felons, to which Taylor acquiesced.
Taylor wanted the immediate sentence in part because wanted to end the ordeal of being in jail, and in part because he wasn't receiving the health care he said he needed.
The case began on Sept. 12 when Taylor test-drove a car from Dino's Auto Sales and returned it, according to court documents.
The next day, it was gone.
The dealership reported the key to the car was attached to the bottom hole of a laminated key tag, but when it was returned the key was attached to the top hole. The dealership suspected a duplicate key had been made while Taylor was out on the test drive, according to court records.
A GPS installed in the vehicle showed it had been in Chugwater. The Platte County Sheriff’s Office later found the car and Taylor who had wrecked it.
Officers talked with someone at a business that did key duplications, and learned it had made one key for a vehicle similar to the vehicle in question. However, a woman made the purchase, according to court records.
Taylor told police he had taken the test drive. He bought a vehicle from a woman he did not know, and he suspected it was stolen.
He also said he did not recognize it was same vehicle he had test driven earlier.
Taylor declined to identify the woman.
He pleaded not guilty to grand larceny in October.