Dallas Police Say An Oak Cliff Landlord Attacked One Tenant With an Ax Five Days Before Her Brother Beat Another to Death

Virgil Slay was at home in Oak Cliff on the afternoon of October 1 when his landlord arrived to kick him out of the room he'd been renting from her.

His refusal sent the landlord, 42-year-old Toni Faye Taylor, into a rage. According to a DPD incident report, she first tried to physically drag him from the house. When that failed, she grabbed a yellow-handled ax that was apparently at hand and swung. Slay, 52, dodged the full impact of the blow, but the blade cut into his inner thigh. Taylor then dropped the ax began hurling heavy objects, one of which hit Slay's left knee.

Taylor was arrested for aggravated assault and would spend the next nine days in jail. But she still wanted Slay out of the house, and arranged his eviction over the phone from jail.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by Dallas police, Taylor's mother, sister, and 36-year-old Keith Rains went to the house on October 6. There, Rains succeeded, literally, in throwing Slay out. He beat on Slay until Taylor's mother forced him to stop.

Rains returned later that day with Taylor's brother, 46-year-old Ricky Miles, and her juvenile son, but Slay wasn't there. His roommate, Jermaine Caldwell, was. As Miles would later tell Taylor, they "knocked his ass out. Knocked him slap out."

Caldwell told a friend that he had been kicked repeatedly in the head and face, but he refused to go to the hospital for two days. When he finally did go in for treatment, he fell into a coma, dying on October 12, six days after the attack.

Miles and Rains were arrested in October on aggravated assault charges. They were taken into custody again yesterday after the offense was upgraded to murder.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson