Retired Green Beret shoots intruder, gets court martial


January 23, 2008, 03:53 PM
Retired Green Beret shoots intruder, gets court martial

BREVARD, Jan. 19, 2008 – Retired Army Green Beret Smokey Taylor got his court martial this weekend and came away feeling good about it.
Taylor, at age 80 the oldest member of Chapter XXXIII of the Special Forces Association, was on trial by his peers under the charge of “failing to use a weapon of sufficient caliber” in the shooting of an intruder at his home in Knoxville, TN, in December.
The entire affair, of course, was very much tongue in cheek. Taylor had been awakened in the early morning hours of Dec. 17, 2007, when an intruder broke into his home. He investigated the noises with one of his many weapons in hand.
When the intruder threatened him with a knife, Taylor warned him, then brought his .22 caliber pistol to bear and shot him right between the eyes.
“That boy had the hardest head I’ve ever seen,” Taylor said after his trial. “The bullet bounced right off.”
The impact knocked the would-be thief down momentarily. He crawled out of the room then got up and ran out the door and down the street. Knoxville police apprehended him a few blocks away and he now awaits trial in the Knox County jail.
The charges against Taylor were considered to be serious. He is a retired Special Forces Weapons Sergeant with extensive combat experience during the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
“Charges were brought against him under the premise that he should have saved the county and taxpayers the expense of a trial,” said Chapter XXXIII President Bill Long of Asheville. “He could have used a .45 or .38. The .22 just wasn’t big enough to get the job done.”
Taylor’s defense attorney, another retired Weapons Sergeant, disagreed. He said Taylor had done the right thing in choosing to arm himself with a .22.
“If he’d used a .45 or something like that the round would have gone right through the perp, the wall, the neighbor’s wall and possibly injured some innocent child asleep in its bed,” he said. “I believe the evidence shows that Smokey Taylor exercised excellent judgment in his choice of weapons. He did nothing wrong, and clearly remains to this day an excellent weapons man.”
Counsel for the defense then floated a theory as to why the bullet bounced off the perp’s forehead.
“He was victimized by old ammunition,” he said, “just as he was in Korea and again in Vietnam, when his units were issued ammo left over from World War II.”
Taylor said nothing in his own defense, choosing instead to allow his peers to debate the matter. After the trial he said the ammunition was indeed old and added the new information that the perp had soiled his pants as he crawled out of the house.
“I would have had an even worse mess to clean up if it had gone through his forehead,” Taylor said. “It was good for both of us that it didn’t.”
Following testimony from both sides, Taylor was acquitted of the charges and was given a round of applause.
Meanwhile, back in Knox County, the word is out: Don’t go messing with Smokey Taylor. He just bought a whole bunch of fresh ammo.

Tribune Editor Bill Fishburne is a member of the Larry Thorne Chapter XXXIII of the Special Forces Association.

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January 23, 2008, 03:55 PM
Hah! That's great. :D

January 23, 2008, 03:56 PM
You gotta love it! :D

January 23, 2008, 03:57 PM
LOL, that's gotta be the funniest thing I've read all week.

January 23, 2008, 04:02 PM
Is this for real?

January 23, 2008, 04:04 PM
What a great sense of humor. Gotta love those special forces guys!

January 23, 2008, 04:07 PM
Please post a link. That was great!

January 23, 2008, 04:09 PM
Great job by Mr Taylor. I do agree, however that he should think about a .38 loaded with JHPs.

January 23, 2008, 04:11 PM
please be true... please be true!

January 23, 2008, 04:17 PM
That's amusing. Odd, I live in Knoxville and didn't hear about this one.

The grandfather that used a .38 to shoot a guy in the head as the BG was running towards his wife and her car I did hear about. Sounds like both seniors were good shots.

January 23, 2008, 04:28 PM
Chapter XXXIII's website (

Scroll down to the Awards and honors section, and you'll find out more about Mr. Taylor.

January 23, 2008, 04:30 PM
Please post a link. That was great!
It came via email to me. I did a google search and did not find a link to the story.

I did find a reference to the good sgt at a SF site, but it said nothing about the incident. Only that the report that he had died in 2003 was untrue.

I emailed the purported author and asked if it was true.

January 23, 2008, 04:31 PM
Don't live in Knoxville, but would be proud to call this gentleman a neighbor of mine! He can use any cal he decides to.

January 23, 2008, 04:38 PM
The "old ammo" argument was a bit hokey. I've shot old ammo which was as good as stuff bought fresh from the store.
But otherwise, a great story.

... And any way ... his shot placement was straight on!!

January 23, 2008, 04:40 PM
Now, that right there's funny. I don't care who you are.:D

January 23, 2008, 04:51 PM
Thumbs up for Smokey!

January 23, 2008, 05:13 PM
Well, he's real enough.

Can't find the story, although it has a ring of plausibility.

James T "Smokey" Taylor, D-529, of Knoxville, TN and an original member of Chapter 33, has been nominated by the American Legion, Post #2, Knoxville, Tennessee, to serve as Grand Chef De Gare du Tennessee. This is an honor Smokey richly deserves. Please Click here ( to read the resolution.

Another picture:

January 23, 2008, 05:32 PM
:D That just brought a smile to my face. Whether it's true or not I enjoyed it. Thanks for the post.

January 23, 2008, 05:44 PM
Trying to maintain composure while picturing this incident. It's not working LOL :what:

January 23, 2008, 08:20 PM
Old Age, Experience, and Resolve will triumph over stupidity and evil.

January 23, 2008, 08:38 PM
Well I'm not buying it, but I did like it. :D

January 24, 2008, 12:23 AM
Why do I suspect that a number of adult beverages were consumed during the course of the "Courts Martial"?

January 24, 2008, 02:00 AM
Just goes to show ya kids, it's not the caliber (or age of ammunition:uhoh:) thats key, it's shot placment that stops the threat. :)

January 24, 2008, 04:59 AM
We need to take up a collection of thanks and give it to this guy. He represents everything we stand for and then some. Reading this made my day.

January 24, 2008, 06:34 AM
apparently, he still has good accuracy.

El Tejon
January 24, 2008, 07:43 AM
Yes, apparently his eyes are still optimal.:scrutiny:

January 24, 2008, 08:44 AM
The author of the story sent me this after I sent him an email asking if the story is true. I would attach the picture but have never figured out how to do so.

Completely true. Some of the details changed after I spoke with Taylor. The date was Nov. 4, 2007. See attached. James T. (Smokey) Taylor is 2nd from left, front row.

OK, he's the black guy, who went on to graduate from the FBI Academy and become the 2nd man in charge of security for the TVA after his military career. A distinguished gentleman.

Bill Fishburne
Member, Chapter XXXIII (Larry Thorne Chapter), SFA

4v50 Gary
January 24, 2008, 09:25 AM
Good shooting, soldier. :)

January 24, 2008, 09:52 AM
Always use enough gun. Taylor had it just right and did not have to clean up a mess.

January 24, 2008, 01:02 PM
Always use enough gun. Taylor had it just right and did not have to clean up a mess.

It's one shot stop in my book:)

January 26, 2008, 05:50 AM
No matter how old are you… You must fight for yourself each day… And not only at war. I think he was right. I will do the same if I have an option. “My home – is my fortress” – as spoken in my country.:D
I appreciate his humor…

January 28, 2008, 11:42 PM
Truely, they were the greatest generation....

January 28, 2008, 11:50 PM
Um, if he's retired, then he's outside the reach of the military authority and they have no legal right to court marshal him. Legally, they needed to make his trial a civilian trial in the civilian courts because him being retired, he's now a civilian and not U.S. government property any longer.

January 28, 2008, 11:53 PM
If you read it closely, and look for it, you will see the original author's tongue planted firmly in his cheek.

This was a bunch of dudes in their seventies and eighties having a mock trial.

January 29, 2008, 04:17 PM
The only thing you can assume about an old man is that he's a survivor.

I love that line! So true, too.

January 29, 2008, 04:20 PM
I can't believe they actually put that guy through anything! Come on! Although, I have to laugh at being Court Martial-ed for not having a big enough gun!

Very weird...

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