Prosecutors decline to press charges against Indy woman arrested in teen’s murder

Shantell Taylor

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– An Indianapolis woman arrested in connection with the murder of a 13-year-old boy will not face criminal charges at this time, court officials confirmed Wednesday.

Shantell Taylor, 33, turned herself in last weekend. Her attorney, Michael Kyle, said she did so to avoid being arrested in front of family and friends, not because she was the shooter. Kyle claims she’s wrongfully accused.

According to court documents, 13-year-old Harry Taliefer was shot standing next to his brother.  That older brother then served as one of several eye witnesses who helped identify Taylor as the person who was thought to have pulled the trigger.

Taliefer’s family says they are saddened to learn Taylor will be released, but are confident police and the prosecutors office will catch the person responsible for killing the teen.

“We’re not mad or upset because no charges were filed. We’re mad and upset because we still don’t have the answers that we deserve and that Harry deserves,” said Taliefer’s uncle, Jay Thomas.

Police say an ongoing dispute between neighborhood kids that began the night before ended with gunfire. Taliefer died after being shot in the back of the arm and neck.

Harry Taliefer

Witnesses claim the teen was encouraging people to walk away from the fight when he was hit from behind.

According to the arrest affidavit, Harry’s brother told police he saw Taylor with a gun in her shorts and claims Taylor said, “You all don’t know who you’re messing with. I am not afraid to shoot.”

Harry’s brother said Taylor then pulled the trigger. He also told investigators he did not see anyone else with a gun.

“There’s people out there that know what happened. There were a dozen or more so witnesses out there, so somebody seen something,” Thomas said.

It’s unclear at this time why prosecutors declined to file charges against Taylor in the case.

“We’re not even upset with Shantell Taylor, because our biggest thing is because if she didn’t do it, we don’t want her to take the fall or sit in jail or go through endure trial if she’s not responsible for Harry’s death,” Thomas said. He added, “if she feels any type of remorse for this, I implore her or anyone else to talk to investigators and let them know who is responsible for this.”

It’s unclear at this time why prosecutors declined to file charges against Taylor in the case.

“We’re not even upset with Shantell Taylor, because our biggest thing is because if she didn’t do it, we don’t want her to take the fall or sit in jail or go through endure trial if she’s not responsible for Harry’s death,” Thomas said. “If she feels any type of remorse for this, I implore her or anyone else to talk to investigators and let them know who is responsible for this.”

Attorneys representing Taylor issued this statement:

“Our client, Shantell Taylor, supports a full investigation and is pleased to know that the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office and the police will continue to investigate the shooting and tragic death of Harry Taliefer.  Shantell is also aware that she has not been excluded as a suspect simply because of the State’s decision to not file charges against her at this time.   We appreciate the professionalism of the Prosecutor’s Office and thank them for being receptive and communicative with our office over these past several days.  Our Team will also continue to investigate and work with Shantell hoping that all of the facts of what happened are brought to light.”

Taylor’s attorney added they are pleased with the prosecutors office in being thorough and ensuing they have “all their ducks in a row,” before filing charges. Her attorney also stated he advised her to turn herself in to make it simpler and safer and so she wouldn’t be arrested at home in front of her family.

When asked if Taylor denies firing shots or shooting the teen, her attorney declined to answer.

Anyone with additional information on this shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477).

Funeral arrangements for Harry Taliefer are as follows:
New Direction Church, Pastor Kenneth Sullivan, Jr.
5330 East 38th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46218

Sat. July 21, 2018
Viewing:  9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Service:  11:00 a.m.