EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The Office of the Attorney General states no charges will be filed as they concluded its investigation into the death of Joshua Taylor, whose death was ruled a homicide.
According to Attorney General Michelle Henry, the office investigated the death of Taylor, a 32-year-old Wilkes-Barre man, after receiving a referral, citing a lack of resources, from the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office.
“After a careful, complete, and thorough examination of the facts of this case and the law, it is clear that there is insufficient evidence to support criminal charges,” said Attorney General Henry.
Henry stated the office conducted an extensive review of this case, which included interviewing witnesses, examining video footage from the restaurant of the incident, reviewing Taylor’s medical records, speaking with a medical expert, and analyzing all available evidence.
The incident happened in the early morning hours of August 26, 2022, inside Vesuvio’s Pizzeria and Bar in downtown Wilkes-Barre.
Taylor and his friends were socializing in a joking manner and at one point, Taylor asked his friend to punch him in the stomach, said police. His friend declined, but Taylor persisted, motioning toward his stomach area. Eventually, his friend reluctantly punched him once in the stomach, according to court records.
Investigators stated Taylor fell to the floor and remained there for approximately two minutes, and then he stood up on his own. Fourteen hours after returning to his home, Taylor collapsed and then passed away at a local hospital.
According to detectives, evidence showed Taylor had preexisting medical conditions that significantly negatively contributed to his response to the one punch. His friend that struck him was unaware of his medical condition.
The pathologist who conducted the autopsy indicated that a healthy person would not have died from this one punch, stated AG Henry.
“It is clear, based on the totality of the evidence, that there was no intent – reckless or otherwise – to cause any harm to Taylor,” expressed Attorney General Henry.
The Office of the Attorney General released the video footage of the incident recorded on surveillance cameras with appropriate redactions made to protect the identity of uninvolved parties.