CLAYTON — A St. Louis man charged with shooting and paralyzing a Ballwin police officer in 2016 has been found mentally unfit for trial.
Antonio Taylor 34, of the 1200 block of Tower Grove Avenue, was accused of shooting Officer Michael Flamion in the neck July 8, 2016, with a .22-caliber pistol during a traffic stop on New Ballwin Road. Flamion was paralyzed from the neck down.
St. Louis County Judge Ellen “Nellie” Ribaudo made the finding of Taylor’s competency based on results of mental exams presented in a closed court hearing April 12.
This week, Taylor’s case disappeared from public view on Missouri CaseNet, the state’s online courts system. Sam Alton, chief of staff for St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell, said Ribaudo had ordered Taylor committed to the Department of Mental Health for six months.
Taylor’s mental health will be reevaluated after six months, per state law. If he is found competent to proceed, prosecutors could pursue criminal charges against Taylor.
Taylor was charged in 2016 with assaulting a law enforcement officer, unlawful gun possession, resisting arrest and armed criminal action.
Flamion, now 35, was wounded when a man he stopped for speeding shot him from behind in July 2016, police have said.
Last year, Taylor challenged the Department of Mental Health’s finding that he was mentally unfit to stand trial. In August he withdrew his objection.
Last summer, Taylor wrote several letters to Ribaudo seeking the dismissal of his charges and the return of his belongings, including clothing and personal hygiene items. He also sought to fire his public defender and represent himself in court. In court filings, Taylor denied shooting Flamion and called Flamion “the suspect” who “interfered with my life July 8, 2016.”
Flamion, who uses a wheelchair, has undergone extensive rehabilitation since the shooting. In 2017, the Gary Sinise Foundation had a “smart home” built for Flamion’s family that features lighting, heating and cooling adaptations that can be controlled with one switch. Flamion was the first police officer the group supported.
Taylor’s criminal history in Missouri includes 2011 convictions of unlawful possession of a firearm and resisting arrest. In those cases, he was given a two-year prison sentence.
He served prison time for robbery in Oklahoma from November 2006 to January 2009. After getting out of prison, court records say, Taylor was stopped by officers in Beckham County, Okla., in July 2009 for faulty headlights and was found with a loaded .22-caliber rifle lying on the floor of the car. The rifle had been reported stolen in St. Louis.
Taylor was later sentenced to federal prison for 30 months for a conviction of being a felon in possession of a gun. He was released in 2015.