Suicidal Inmate Facing Life After Robbing A Denver, Co Papa John’s Pizza, Making History By Launching Mental Health Challenge From County Jail

Share Article

Source: AYBOS Marketing LLC (Denver, CO) - AYBOS Marketing co-founder Marchell Taylor’s next move after being caught for the Papa John's robbery was to commit suicide by saving up his psychotropic medication. He attempted it, he took enough Elavil to put himself to sleep for five days straight and thought, “Just a few more pills and no more problems.” These traumatic events led to the current launch of the Rebuild Your Mind Mental Health Challenge & Initiative.

In January of 2016 now Mental Health Advocate/ Business Developer Markell Taylor had a suicidal breakdown and as a result ended up in the Denver County Jail fighting a 300 + year sentence.

Suicidal inmate makes history by launching mental health challenge & unites Colorado, Denver & the small business community

"Jackson challenged the mayor of Denver, CO, Mayor Michael Hancock, and all elected officials to speak openly about their own mental health experiences live on video!"

All Marchell Taylor could remember prior to his January 2016 break down, was hearing voices in his head saying, “No one valued him anymore, he wasn’t important, all his relationships were damaged, he was a financially broke business founder.” He says he remembers feeling he couldn’t deal with life and needed to escape, and that that prison would be easier than dealing with failure. Taylor had been free from prison for 4 years, however none of his business ideas from prison had flourished. He said he pleaded for help, at least in his own maladaptive way, when he called C. A. Shively. Shively, another co-founder of AYBOS and confidante of Taylor, listened on multiple occasions, however, he was quietly damaged himself by small business stress. Four days later or on January 16th, 2016, he committed another aggravated robbery but this time with a second-degree kidnapping charge for robbing a Papa John’s Pizza.

Taylor called Shively and told him that he was in the county jail again for the third time in two years, to which he responded sarcastically, “I see your home again, what the hell is wrong with you bro, I don’t understand!” Taylor responded, “It’s not me, its these damn demons!” and the 20- second phone call ends. Taylor’s next move was to commit suicide by saving up his psychotropic medication. He attempted it, he took enough Elavil to put himself to sleep for five days straight and thought, “Just a few more pills and no more problems.”

Shively eventually visited the county jail and said, “You are to valuable to our family, please don’t do this.” He pleaded with Taylor and said, “Read the entire bible, front to back and vice versa." He reassured him that his family loves him and that they’d go through it together. For the first time since he was 17 years old, when his mother died, Taylor says he truly felt loved and valued.

Taylor eventually reached out for help from the mental health staff in the county jail and started getting treatment before even being diagnosed. His public defender David Kraut, from the Public Defender’s Office came to Taylor and said, “The district attorney is filing the habitual criminal statue against you. Meaning you can receive four times the sentence range, or over 300 years.” Taylor understood clearly, looked at his attorney, started crying and said, “I don’t know how this happened?” David could clearly see his client’s emotional pain and how he seemed confused after serving many years in prison.

David began to ask questions such as how much time of incarceration Taylor had served? Taylor expressed, over 21 years. To this David replied, “Oh no you need help, you have mental health disorders.” He advocated and got him into the only mental health program of its kind, The Men’s Mental Health Transition Unit in the Denver County Jail.

While in the program Taylor received a neuropsychological screening from the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado, then lead by Professor Kim Gorgens from the University of Denver. In addition, he also received a mental health assessment from Dr. Natsumi “Nina” Minagawa of Minagawa Psychology Services, LLC, Denver, Colorado. He was diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Substance Use Disorder as well as physiological dysfunctions. Essentially, Taylor was a 47-year old individual with the mind and brain functions of a 10-year-old child.

Dr. Brad McMillan, Director of Psychology at Denver County Jail began to provide trauma classes and research tools for Taylor. He assigned Taylor a team of therapists, doctors and psychologist to help destigmatize, assess and treat his disorders. Dr. Nina Minagawa served as his One-on-One Counselor, Jarod Thiele served as his mental health case manager and skill development mentor and Deputy Mike Jackson, a 24-year deputy veteran (and the President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #27) counseled him as well.

Taylor learned how to meditate, rationalize effectively, reason effectively, plan, play and use good judgement. In addition, he also learned to regulate his emotions and control his impulses, all things he should’ve learned as an adolescent. The team used a variety of trauma modalities, treatments and self-regulation strategies to assess and treat him, mainly “Mindful Meditation” taught by specialist Dr. Nina Minagawa. Deputy Jackson showed great interest in this inmate’s treatment and his passion to help others. He became the first deputy in the history of the Denver Sheriff’s Department to join an inmate with a TBI, and mental health disorders and a small business, all while the inmate was still incarcerated.

Taylor used the program as an educational platform in addition to treatment. He studied a lot about his own brain and psychological disorders, while receiving the treatment. Still in communication with Shively and AYBOS, they organized the research and treatment into a campaign format and named it after the head Denver district attorney, "The Beth McCann Rebuild Your Mind Mental Health Challenge” as McCann was a true inspiration with her passion for mental health alternatives.

Over 40 Inmates started challenging thousands of people through inmate letters. Parole board members, their judges (including Taylor’s judge), district attorneys, public defenders, other criminal justice and corrections staff were being challenged, to discuss their own mental health experiences on camera. Deputy Jackson advised not to place a political name to it and simply launch it as The Rebuild Your Mind Mental Health Challenge & Initiative.

Shively and AYBOS Marketing filmed the inaugural Rebuild Your Mind Video Challenge with Deputy Jackson in 2017. Jackson challenged the Mayor of Denver, CO, Mayor Michael Hancock, and all elected officials to speak openly about their own mental health experiences live on video. (See Challenge Video below). Deputy Jackson also became the first Deputy to openly speak about his own mental health experiences for the Challenge.

Taylor and Shively’s efforts resulted in Judge Brain Whitney sentencing Taylor to Mental Health Probation as opposed to incarceration. Upon release Taylor was so inspired by Deputy Jackson’s challenge video, that he decided to do his own. In the video Taylor challenges Whoopi Goldberg, Chauncey Billups and Ellen DeGeneres, citing them as influencers that can encourage millions to destigmatize these mental health experiences ( With over 60 challenges filmed to date, the question is why haven’t you went to @rebuildyourmindchallenge on Facebook and taken the challenge yourself?

Follow this story by going to @RebuildYourMindChallenge on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Media Contact:
AYBOS Marketing LLC
(303) 219-0251

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

C D Bullock
Visit website