Arlington Rapper Tay-K Has Been Found Guilty In The 2016 Murder Of 21-year-old Ethan Walker. Now He Faces Up To 99 Years In Prison.
Update at 2:10 p.m. on July 23, 2019: Tay-K has been sentenced to 55 years in prison and given a $10,000 fine for the murder of 21-year-old Evan Walker, according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram. He has also been charged a separate $11,000 fine for aggravated robbery charges related to the case.
Original story follows.
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Legal troubles continue to escalate for Tay-K. According to the Star-Telegram, the Arlington rapper pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery, but not guilty to one count of capital murder in a Tarrant County court. On Friday, a jury found him guilty of a lesser-punishment for murder of 21-year-old Ethan Walker.
Though he escaped the possibility of a mandatory 40-year sentence with capital murder, he now faces between five and 99 years in prison. District attorneys said his official sentencing should be settled by Monday.
The charges stem from a July 26, 2016 home invasion of which the rapper, born Taymor McIntyre, participated. One of McIntyre’s seven accomplices, Latharian Merritt, shot 21-year-old Ethan Walker in the stomach during the botched robbery. Walker, a father of a young girl, later died from the assault. Walker’s roommate, Zachary Beloate, was also shot but survived.
Another roommate, Walker’s girlfriend Alyssa Rowell, hid in a closet and called 911.
“My life flashed before my eyes and I didn’t know what to do, really,” Rowell said in her testimony.
While McIntyre’s attorney Jeff Kearney did concede that his client is guilty of robbery, he claimed that McIntyre “accepted responsibility” for the incident and should not be charged with murder, as he did not have any reason to suspect that Merritt would “go in and intentionally kill for no reason.”
Merritt, who hails from Long Beach, California, was found guilty of capital murder in May 2018 and is now serving life in prison. According to a recorded police interview, Merritt stated that he had no recollection of pulling the trigger. When asked if he had anything to say to Walker’s family, Merritt said, “I’m sorry I was in that situation.”
Other accomplices to the incident include 19-year-old Jalen Bell, who pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery in November 2018; Sean Robinson, who pleaded guilty to murder in August 2018 and accepted a 40-year sentence as part of a plea deal; and 21-year-old Megan Holt who, along with 22-year-old Ariana Bharrat, agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in testifying against their co-defendants in exchange for a lesser charge.
Friday’s verdict is far from the extent of the rapper’s legal troubles, however.
McIntyre’s checkered legal history goes as far back as New Year’s Eve 2016, where he was in the backseat of a vehicle as ex-Marine Eric Johnson murdered 20-year-old University of North Texas student Sara Mutschlechner.
Following the 2016 robbery, McIntyre was placed on house arrest in the days leading up to his court proceedings. A few days before the hearings were scheduled to commence, McIntyre cut off his ankle monitor and fled to San Antonio, where he allegedly shot 23-year-old photographer Mark Saldivar in a Chick-Fil-A parking lot. He still faces a capital murder charge for the assault.
In May 2017, McIntyre allegedly attacked 65-year-old Arlington resident Skip Pepe after robbing him at gunpoint. Pepe claimed that McIntyre held a gun to his head, then knocked him to the ground. Pepe has since filed an ongoing lawsuit against the rapper.
During his run from authorities, McIntyre went to Elizabeth, New Jersey to record several songs, including his viral hit, “The Race.” The song debuted at number 70 on the Billboard Hot 100 amid a Twitter campaign titled “#FreeTayK”. One month following the alleged assault against Pepe, U.S. Marshals apprehended McIntyre before holding him in a New Jersey penitentiary.
It’s safe to say his aspirations of being a XXL Freshman are as little as a pipe dream at this point.