Pubdate: Sat, 06 Aug 2005
Source: Bangor Daily News (ME)
Copyright: 2005 Bangor Daily News Inc.
Author: Judy Harrison


BANGOR - A Canadian man's visit to his mother's deathbed will cost him a
year and a day of freedom.

Joseph Russell Taylor, 47, of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, was sentenced Friday
in U.S. District Court to federal prison for entering the country illegally
after he had been deported. Tayler crossed the border so he could visit his
dying mother in Attleboro, Mass.

He also was ordered to surrender to immigration officials for deportation
back to Canada after his release.

Taylor's attorney, Stephen Smith of Bangor, urged U.S. District Judge John
Woodcock to sentence the Canadian to the eight months he had been held at
the Piscataquis County Jail awaiting resolution of his case.

Assistant U.S Attorney James McCarthy, who prosecuted the case, recommended
the sentence the judge imposed. The recommended guideline range for Taylor's
crime was 12 to 18 months in prison.

"This is a difficult case ... because it's such a human case," Woodcock said
in denying Smith's motion. "It reflects the obligation children feel toward
their parents and, in particular, the obligation a son feels toward a mother
who's dying and needs him. What he did is fully understandable, but as a
matter of law, it is not excused."

Taylor was arrested on Oct. 14 at the Calais border when inspectors with
U.S. Customs and Border Protection boarded the bus he was on. In a
conversation with border agents, Taylor denied that he had ever lived in or
been convicted of a crime in the U.S., according to court documents.

The Canadian, who first crossed the border at Calais when he was 19 months
old, was deported to Canada in 1995 after he was convicted of drug charges
in Providence, R.I. Since then, he has been forbidden from re-entering the
U.S. without permission.

Taylor was released last year on $1,000 cash bail a few days after his
arrest so he could attend to his mother, Phyllis Taylor. While on bail, he
wore an electronic monitoring bracelet and surrendered to authorities on
Dec. 6 after her funeral. She died on Nov. 28 at home in Attleboro, Mass.,
at the age of 75.

On Friday, four of Taylor's siblings as well as his wife urged Woodcock to
sentence the man to time served.

"Our family should bear some of the responsibility for his crime," Taylor's
sister, Jo-Ann Baillargeon of Cumberland, R.I., told the court. "She was
sick for a very long time. She couldn't talk, but cried when she saw his
picture. ... We begged him to come home."

Taylor wiped tears from his eyes as his brother and sisters, all of whom
live in the United States, spoke on his behalf.

"I apologize to the court," he told Woodcock. "I didn't think I had enough
time to find a different way across the border."
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