Rapper Tay-K, 19, was found guilty on July 19 for his involvement in the murder of Ethan Walker, 21. The rapper (whose real name is Taymor McIntyre) met his fate for his involvement in a robbery that left Walker fatally shot and another man wounded. The crime took place in Mansfield, Texas in July 2016 and according to the state’s laws, Tay-K could receive anywhere from 5 to 99 years behind bars. Tay-K was found guilty of participating in a home invasion and robbery and although he wasn’t the one who shot Walker, he will likely receive a sentence of close to 40 years.
HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with two Texas state criminal defense attorneys, Temani Adams and Steven Wright, to find out what he may actually receive based on his criminal history. “Having been found guilty of murder, Rapper Tay-K is facing up to 99 years in prison,” Adams explained. “In Texas, Tay-K can elect for the judge to choose his punishment and not the jury. It is not clear which option Tay-K chose. [If he had no] criminal history his lawyers [could have] asked for probation. [However], based on the facts of the case and his other pending charges, a sentence of probation is not likely.”
“No matter if the judge or jury assess Tay-K’s punishment, he will probably receive a sentence of about 40 years,” Adams stated. Judge Wayne Salvant previously presided over the infamous case where he sentenced “affluenza teen” Ethan Couch, now 22, to 720 days behind bars for killing four people while drunk driving in June 2013. Adams said, “The judge in this case, Judge Wayne Salvant, is the same judge that presided over the famous ‘affluenza teen,’ case. Judge Salvant is very fair and reasonable, and one of the best judges in Tarrant County. If he is deciding Tay-K’s punishment, he will look at all of the facts, any special circumstances, and Tay-K’s age.”
Tay-K has pending charges that lawyers say will attribute to his sentence. He is also charged in a second capital murder case out of Bexar County and an aggravated robbery case in Tarrant County that occurred after he cut off his ankle monitor and fled while on home arrest for the Mansfield case. While on the loose, officials allege Tay-K robbed and fatally shot Mark Saldivar, 23, at a San Antonio Chick-fil-A in April 2017. The next month, he allegedly attacked and robbed Skip Pepe, 65, as Pepe walked along Fish Creek Trail in Arlington’s Cravens Park. After a national manhunt, Tay-K was captured in New Jersey in June 2017.
“No matter the sentence, Tay-K still faces a long time in prison,” Adams continued. “He has pending charges for a separate murder and robbery. Any sentence that he receives for the second murder and robbery could be consecutive to, or stacked on top of, the sentence for the current murder. That means that he would have to serve his sentence for the first murder charge before he would begin to serve his sentence for the second murder and robbery. Texas does have parole, which allows for a person to be released from prison under supervision. If his sentences are stacked, it will be a long time before Tay-K will be eligible for parole or coming home,” Adams added. “If the jury is deciding his punishment, there will essentially be a second mini trial where both Tay-K and the State can bring more witnesses and evidence. The state will be able to bring up other bad acts that Tay-K has committed, and the victim’s family will be able to testify about the death of victim has affected them. Tarrant County is very conservative and family oriented. If the victim’s family is allowed to testify, Tay-K will surely be sentenced to at least 40 years in prison.”
Wright added to the sentiment and said, “Tay-K was committing a felony when the murder happened. From what I am seeing there was little to no remorse from the client during the trial. For something like this, with him being so young, it will be argued that he made a stupid mistake as a kid. He isn’t a bad guy and doesn’t need to spend the rest of his life in prison.
“If I had to give a rough estimate on what I think they would do based solely what I have seen online, it would probably be somewhere between 20 to 40 years,” Wright said. “Based on his age and criminal history would be two factors that would play a role in how long he would be looking at. As a ‘minor celebrity’ that will also play a role in the amount of time,” he added.