Free Mark Taylor

Free Mark Taylor

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Francisca Taylor started this petition to Governor of Kentucky, Frankfort Governor Andy beshear

In late 2013 Lexington Kentucky resident Alex Johnson went missing. During the investigation, Timothy “Tiny” Ballard admitted to the kidnapping and killing of Mr. Johnson. Part of Ballard’s confession was a deal the authorities made with him at the time. Ballard would not be charged with murder in exchange for: (1) he would lead them to the body and (2) implicate Robert “Mark” Taylor as his accomplice and testify against him at trial. The outcome for the authorities would be that they had the body and someone to charge for the murder other than Ballard. 

It was this deal that lead to the arrest of Robert “Mark” Taylor for the kidnapping and murder of his best friend, Alex Johnson. Mark has always maintained his innocence. But with Ballard ready to testify against him, Mark went on trial in 2016 for the murder. Timothy Ballard was the prosecution’s star witness. In return for his testimony against Mark, he received 25 years for kidnapping and tampering with evidence. Also, part of his deal was not being labeled as a “persistent felon”. Before murdering Johnson, Ballard was already a repeat felony offender who had been incarcerated most of his life. Prior to this, he had been convicted and sentenced to 25 years for kidnapping and robbery. While incarcerated he was convicted of drug contraband and 5 years was added to his sentence. Upon release, Ballard then went back to prison for 21 months for threatening to kill the President of the United States. By this time he was a persistent felon and wasn’t allowed parole. 

In major contrast, prior to this, Mark Taylor had never been in trouble with the law.

Nevertheless, with Ballard’s testimony of committing the murder himself with Mark as his accomplice, Mark was found guilty and was sentenced to 49 years in prison for the murder.

About a year and a half into Mark’s sentence he received the document below in the mail from Timothy Ballard. 

The man that put him in prison has now sent him a full confession exonerating him. 

The below document is an affidavit that was written and dictated by Timothy Ballard to his lawyer and signed in front of a notary in December of 2017.  As anyone can read, Ballard recants his testimony at trial. He states his perjury on the stand, getting his girlfriend to commit perjury, the coercion by the authorities, confesses to the murder and then relieves Mark of all culpability in the kidnapping and murder. Further, he is ready to take full responsibility for his actions. Documents can be found on

So why is Mark Taylor STILL in prison??

Call Governor Beshear and ask him

(502) 564-2611

Affidavit by Timothy Ballard
December 2017

I, Timothy Ballard, the Affiant herein, hereby states under the penalty of perjury, that Robert Taylor is not the person who killed Alex Johnson, nor did he participate in his kidnapping. 

When Johnson got out of the car, I am the one who got out of the vehicle and put him back in the car over Robert Taylor‘s objections. I struck Johnson in the head with a broken baton that I carried around a few times until he stopped moving. 

The statement I made about taking drugs and money from his apartment after switching cars to the small Sentra is not true. As proof: If the officers review the security footage of that night, they will see that there was never a Nissan Sentra that returned to the shop. It doesn’t fit the timeline. 

The Commonwealth and the police promised me a really good deal if I just put it all on Taylor. So I did. I know that in my statement to police and even in my testimony during trial I stated the opposite. I just want to clear my conscience. I forced my girlfriend to make up a story about Taylor threatening us with a gun. It was not true. She has told me that she has come clean to police and now I need to. I cannot live my life knowing that I am the reason an innocent man is in prison. I just got scared when everything happened and I was just trying to get out of trouble. I did not intend to cause Johnson‘s death, he just shouldn’t have said that to me. I sincerely apologize to everyone for everything and I offer my condolences to the families. 

I am aware that with the submission of this affidavit I could be prosecuted for perjury for knowingly lying in my statements to police and during the trial. I am willing to accept the consequences for my actions. I swear this is the true correct statement of the actual occurrences of that night.



The document below is a pardon memo for Robert “Mark” Taylor that was handwritten by former KY Governor Matt Bevin in November 2019. It was not filed with the Secretary of State’s office. The reason is unknown. Unofficially it’s been said that it was a “clerical error.” A new application for pardon has been submitted to current KY Governor Andy Beshear. Documents can be found on 

Per Governor 11-18-19 6:00 pm

From all that has been presented to me, including the sworn testimony of the actual guilty parties, it is evident that Robert “Mark” Taylor was wrongly convicted for a murder he did not commit. With the power vested in me as governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, I am hereby commuting Mr. Taylor’s sentence to time served and granting him the full and unconditional pardon that he has requested.

So why is Mark Taylor STILL in prison??

Ask Governor Beshear to sign Mark Taylor’s pardon

(502) 564-2611

Here are some tips for when you call:

Try to talk to a real person. Ask for Gov. Beshear’s secretary, office manager, scheduler, etc. They may still send you to a messaging service and that’s fine too. 

Here’s a suggested script for those who may not know what to say when they call:

“Hello, my name is ___________________. I am a Kentucky voter who would like to ask Governor Beshear why Robert Mark Taylor is still in prison. Mark is an innocent man who is in prison for a crime he did not commit. Gov. Beshear should sign his pardon now. Thank you.”

If you are not a Kentucky voter, that’s ok. You can still call, just leave that part out.

You can also direct them to the pardon on file or this site for more info.

Thank you and please share.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!