By Jon Gaskell
Holt Journal staff writer
A 43-year-old man accused of planning to kidnap and kill Delhi Township’s State Rep. Barb Byrum was arraigned Thursday on a felony charge of solicitation of murder.
Inmate Larry Taylor was arraigned in Marquette where police say he sought a hit man to kidnap Byrum. Police say Taylor, originally from Mason, asked a fellow inmate to find someone to kidnap the lawmaker.
Taylor allegedly hoped to hold Byrum for ransom and to secure a release from prison.
Michigan State Police began investigating Taylor on Sept. 9 after corrections officers at Marquette Branch Prison confiscated a letter containing the plans to kidnap and murder the representative.
Michigan State Police’s Major Case Unit then began an undercover operation that would eventually lead to Taylor calling an officer posing as a hit man to discuss the plot.
Taylor was arrested on Sept. 26.
According to Michigan Department of Corrections, Taylor has been moved from Marquette Branch Prison, where the crime was allegedly committed, to Baraga Correctional Facility.
Department of Corrections records indicate that Taylor is already serving a 33- to 50-year sentence for a murder solicitation conviction in Ingham County dating from Aug. 26, 2005.
Taylor has, in the past, also been convicted of home invasion, uttering and publishing, felony assault and witness intimidation.
Byrum, a Democrat in her third term, released this statement regarding the alleged plot:
“I want to thank the Michigan State Police for uncovering this plot. Because this is an active and ongoing investigation, and to protect the privacy of my family, I will be making no further comments about this matter.”
Byrum’s office had no further comment regarding the arraignment of Taylor.
If found guilty of solicitation of murder, Taylor faces a sentence of up to life in prison.