Man shot, killed Cocoa mother after she gave deposition against him, police say

COCOA, Fla. — The man accused of killing a Cocoa mother of four is now in jail being held without bond.

It’s the same man police said the mother, Tashaun Jackson, provided a deposition against before she went missing on Feb. 9.

Investigators said 30-year-old Joshua Taylor was the suspect in a September 2018 attempted sexual battery case that Jackson provided testimony about before he kidnapped and killed her.


Police said Jackson was the victim in that case. Her body was found in rural Osceola County on Feb. 15.

In a press conference on Wednesday, police said they believe the motive for the murder goes back to that attempted sexual battery case.

Police said they believe Jackson was shot and killed the same day she went missing.

Taylor is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Police said Taylor was arrested around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at his mother’s home in Cocoa.

READ: ‘It's hard to stop the tears’: Family reacts after body of missing Cocoa mother of 4 found

Police said Taylor's girlfriend lived in the same apartment complex as Jackson.

After Jackson's body was found, gunfire erupted at that complex.

No one was injured, but investigators believe Taylor was the intended target.

Investigators said Taylor and Jackson had known one another for much of their lives.

"We believe that Joshua Taylor calculated the kidnapping," Cocoa police Chief Mike Cantaloupe said. "He took her to Osceola County and basically murdered her in Osceola County."

Police said they have a solid timeline and physical evidence linking Taylor to the murder.

Cantaloupe also addressed why Jackson was not labeled an endangered adult from the start of the investigation.

"At the time we took the call, we didn't have anything criminal in the case, but we still took the case very seriously," he said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Taylor had been a prolific juvenile offender.

Records said he was released from the Florida Department of Corrections in April 2018 after a 10-year sentence on charges related to grand theft.

"We've got to live the rest of our lives without her," said Sharon Jones-Smith, Jackson's aunt. "When everyone's moved on and thinking about her every now and then, we still will think about her every day, because she was in our lives every day."

Detectives arrested a suspect for the murder of Tashaun Jackson. Joshua Taylor, (DOB 03/15/1988) is facing a charge of first degree murder and is being held without bond. Detectives arrested him at around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at his mother’s home on Fay Street without incident. More information will be released on Wednesday during a media briefing, but because the investigation is still active, details will be limited.

Posted by Cocoa Police Department on Tuesday, February 26, 2019

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