Paul Taylor wasn't around at the time, but he takes the blame for the deadly behavior of his son, 16-year-old Terrence Ca'Pre Henderson.
"I want it to be known that I can't fault and point the finger at anyone but maybe myself," Taylor said when asked about his son being charged with murder. "Some of the decisions I've made caused me to not be there for him."
A decade after being imprisoned for murder, Taylor, now 37, still has a reputation on the streets of Newport News. It's an image he said he's trying to shake now that he's following the teachings of Islam.
During an interview at Sussex II State Prison, just off U.S. Route 460 in Waverly, Taylor refused to discussed the details of past criminal charges. But he repeatedly expressed regret, acknowledged his mistakes, and said that if knew then what he knows now, things might have turned out much different.
"Instead of being No. 1 in the streets," he said. "I should have been No. 1 with my kids."
Taylor is serving a life sentence for the shooting death of one-time friend Julius "Old Lou" Jegede.
After the two had a falling out, Taylor was accused of wounding Jegede in a shooting outside a restaurant in the East End. Less than two weeks later, while Jegede was still recovering, he was paged and headed out the front door of his home to find a pay phone.
Just as he got off the porch, he turned and was headed back toward the house when he was shot several times.
Taylor maintains his innocence. He said he would have been foolish to shoot Jegede after he had already been accused of the first assault.
Newport News Commonwealth's Attorney Howard Gwynn said that even if Taylor didn't pull the trigger, he certainly orchestrated the killing and is guilty of first-degree murder.
Taylor, who has "Man of War Bad News Chapter" tattooed on his upper chest, was known on the streets - and is still known in prison - as "The General."
He was accused of several crimes, including two other charges of murder, before Jegede's death. The earlier charges were dismissed even before Taylor went to trial because witnesses were scared of him, Gwynn said.
"One of the problems with prosecuting Taylor was getting people to come to court," the prosecutor said.
Terrence's mother, Sheila Henderson, said Taylor remains something of a legend in the East End a decade after being imprisoned. He's mentioned in songs by local rap artists and, earlier this year, Henderson saw a T-shirt honoring him.
Taylor said he asks people not to call him "The General" because he's trying to dispel his bad boy image.
He wears a black kufi hat as a sign of his devotion to Islam, and said he read the Koran and prays regularly.
"When I hear my name in rap songs, it's the Paul Taylor of old," he said.
"Little do they know so much has changed." nCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times