Conflicting stories, cell phone records and evidence of a murder for hire scheme were the motives investigators discovered that led to two arrests in the case of former Fulton County Sheriff’s Department employee Kristy Taylor. After an extensive six months of investigation, Taylor’s husband, from whom she had just separated a few weeks early, was always the prime suspect of the investigation. But, it wasn’t until Jan. 23,that police were finally able to get Harvey John Taylor, 49, behind bars. Taylor’s co-conspirator, Thomas Sanches,51, was arrested and jailed a few weeks earlier in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. Sanches is being held there on other charges, including theft of property. Both men have been charged with first degree murder and are both being held in lieu of one million dollar bonds.
The case began on July 9, 2022 after Taylor’s body was discovered by a family member in her drive-way at 3012 Fawnwood Road in rural Fulton County, near Elizabeth. Baxter County Emergency Medical Services(EMS), who took the initial call, then contacted the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department after Taylor was found on the ground bleeding. Baxter County EMS relayed to Fulton County the caller was unsure if Taylor was breathing. Viola First Responders were dispatched to the scene and informed Fulton County it appeared Taylor had been deceased for some time. Fulton County Sheriff Joe Boshears arrived and con-firmed Taylor’s identity. Taylor had an apparent single gunshot wound under her left eye that exited from the back of her head. A single spent .380 shell casing was located three feet from Taylor’s body. Because Taylor was employed at the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Boshears contacted the Arkansas State Police to conduct the investigation. Arkansas State Police Investigator Buster Rinks respond-ed to the scene and noted the casing as well as rigor mortis in Taylor’s body, indicating she had been deceased for a long period of time. Kristy’s body was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, where it was positively identified. The autopsy reported the cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head. The television in her home was paused at 10:20 p.m. Her cell phone was located on a table near her chair, with a Yeti cup full of ice. There were no apparent signs of a struggle within the home. The Fulton County Sheriff’s office notified Taylor’s husband, Harvey John, who told them he was in Texas but would be traveling back to Arkansas. Taylor arrived at the sheriff’s department in the early morning hours of July 10.According to the Arkansas State Police’s probable cause affidavit, Rinks conducted anon-custodial interview with Harvey John. Taylor told the investigators he had been un-successful in his attempts to contact Kristy on Sat. July 9after Sanches had made arrangements to purchase a vehicle from his estranged wife. John told police he spoke with his wife during the week about driving home from Texas for Sanches to purchase the vehicle. He in-formed them he had spoke to Kristy around lunch on July8 and said he and Sanches would be traveling to Fulton County to pick up the vehicle after Sanches got off work that night. Harvey John told the investigator when he and Sanches arrived around 10 p.m., his wife refused to sell the vehicle to Sanches because she had another potential buyer. Taylor said he and Sanches then returned to Texas on the morning of July 9.The examination of Kristy’s cell phone that was obtained during the search warrant of her home indicated she had sent a text messaged to her husband July 8 at about10:38 p.m. stating, “Hey, just wanted to say good night and I love you. Talk to you tomorrow. ”In an interview with Sanches, he told the investigator Kristy was expecting them to arrive July 8 to purchase the vehicle. The cell phone evidence was contradictory to both men’s statements. In a post Miranda interview with Sanches, he told Special Agent Rinks he rode to Arkansas on the evening of July8 with Taylor and when they arrived at the Taylor residence around 10 or 11 p.m., Kristy came outside. Sanches said after she refused to sell the vehicle to him, he and Taylorreturned to Texas and that henever got out of the vehicle. Search warrants were issued for both men’s cellular phones. The information taken from the phones by investigators indicated both of the phones were powered off the evening of July 8 and were not turned back on until the early morning hours of July9 … after both men arrived back in Texas. Several witnesses were also interviewed in the case, one alleged Taylor had solicited him to kill his wife and her dog in the week’s prior to her death. The witness said, Taylor offered him approximately $5,000 to “Put a bullet in Kristy’s head and kill her dog, Blue”. The reason given the witness for wanting his wife killed was so he wouldn’t “lose everything he had in the divorce.” Kristy had separated from her husband on June 12, and filed for divorce on June 15 through her attorney, Larry Kissee. She had also obtained a restraining order against Harvey John Taylor. Taylor was served with the divorce papers on June 17, just weeks before her murder. The couple had been married 15 years. Other witnesses told police Kristy had no intention of selling the vehicle to any-one associated with her husband. The witness said she has instead planned to possibly trade for a new vehicle in Springfield the weekend of her murder. Witness statements also confirmed John Taylor was involved with another woman in Texas and both men were admittedly the last to see Taylor alive. Members of Sanches’s family were also interviewed. They told police Sanches had told them henever went to Arkansas with Taylor on July 8.The warrant for Taylor was issued on Dec. 29, but sealed by the court until his arrest on Jan. 23 by Sheriff Jake Smith. First degree murder is a Class Y felony. Both men face 40years to life in prison on the charges. Both are scheduled to appear in Fulton County Circuit Court on Feb. 13 at9:30 a.m. in front of Judge Tim Weaver. Sanches is being extradited to Fulton County from Texas and Taylor is being held in the Baxter County Detention Center due to the fact his wife was employed at the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department. Arkansas State Police Special Agent Justin Knowles with the Arkansas State Police also worked the case with Rinks.