St. Augustine woman accused of setting fire that killed her child expected in court Thursday

Michelle Lee Taylor (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Michelle Taylor, 38, who is accused of burning down her own home on Lee Street in 2018, is expected in court today in St. Johns County.

She was home with her two children at the time of the fire. Her 18-year-old daughter escaped, but her 11-year-old son David Taylor died from smoke inhalation and severe burns all over his body.

The motive was to collect insurance money, investigators said.

Taylor received a check for more than $90,000 from her homeowner’s insurance company after the fire, according to the State Attorney’s Office

A former neighbor said Taylor and her daughter knocked on his door for help, but it was too late.

According to investigators, several areas in the home tested positive for gasoline.

Taylor was originally assigned a public defender but asked to have them removed because of a conflict of interest.

Court documents show she’s made a similar request for her current attorney.

She’s expected in court Thursday at 9 a.m.

About the Authors:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.