Attempted murder charge reduced to aggravated assault in crossbow attack on TV weatherman

Becky Campbell • Jul 10, 2012 at 4:07 PM

A Washington County grand jury indicted a Johnson City man Tuesday on charges stemming from an alleged attack on a local television weatherman, but prosecutors had downgraded an attempted murder charge to aggravated assault.

Gerald Taylor, 53, also was indicted on charges of aggravated burglary and illegal possession of a weapon.

Taylor, 53, originally was charged with attempted first-degree murder after allegedly shooting Robert William Batot, 43, with a crossbow bolt and also firing a 9mm pistol at him around 4 a.m. June 4.

Batot, known professionally as Rob Williams in his job as a meteorologist at WJHL Channel 11, was struck in the chest with the bolt and received minor injuries. Williams was not hit by any bullets.

The attack happened at 11 Ashworth Court, a home owned by both Williams and Taylor.

Police said Taylor broke into the house through a window and shot Williams with the crossbow, then shot at him with a 9 mm pistol as Williams tried to run from the house.

Police found Taylor sitting on a dock below the house with the pistol in his hand.

In a news release, police said there was a brief stand-off with Taylor, and officers used a taser on him to get him into custody.

Williams had filed an order of protection against Taylor in May.

Keep visiting JohnsonCityPress.com for details.

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