Man Accused Of Killing Firefighter In Hit-And-Run Has History Of Mental Illness

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
grant taylorgrant taylor

Last week, firefighter Dennis Rodeman of Lansing, Michigan, was killed in a hit-and-run while he was raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) with his fellow firefighters.

The alleged perpetrator, 22-year-old Grant Taylor, was apprehended by police a short while later and has been charged with murder, failing to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident causing death, and two counts of third-degree fleeing, the Detroit Free Press reported. Taylor reportedly told police he was angry with the fundraising firefighters for slowing traffic.

Taylor has a history of mental health problems, according to the Lansing State Journal. On two separate occasions, his mother, Karen Taylor, petitioned the Ingham County Probate Court to involuntarily hospitalize her son for mental health issues. 

The first petition occurred in January 2013, after Taylor was found shirtless in near-freezing weather after having thrown his cellphone “because he was trying to get rid of the past,” according to court records. A second petition was filed in July 2014 after Taylor became withdrawn, stopped sleeping and insisted someone was trying to kill him. He was diagnosed with  psychosis and bipolar disorder, among other mental illnesses, according to court records.

At that time, the court found that Taylor could be "reasonably expected within the near future to intentionally or unintentionally" injure himself and others, and the court ordered up to 90 days of treatment for Taylor, including up to 60 days in a hospital.

Taylor is facing life in prison for Rodeman’s death.

He reportedly admitted to hitting Rodeman when interviewed by police after his arrest.

“At no time during his conversation did (Taylor) express any remorse. Nor did he ask the condition of the victim,” Det. Lee McCallister, of the Lansing Police Department, testified during a hearing last week.

Taylor is being held without bond and is due to appear in court this week.

Sources: Lansing State Journal, Detroit Free Press

Photo Credit: Dave Wasinger/Lansing State Journal