Rapper Tay-K 47, whose birth name is Taymor McIntyre, is on trial on charges of capital murder and aggravated robbery following his involvement in a home invasion in 2016 that led to the murder of Ethan Walker.
According to Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Tay-K pled not guilty on Monday to the charge of capital murder which came as a result of his involvement in the robbery that ended in the fatal shooting of the 21-year-old.
The 19-year-old rapper pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery, however he also pleaded not guilty to a separate count of aggravated robbery in the shooting of Zachary Beloate, Walker’s roommate, who reportedly received a gunshot wound to the shoulder but survived.
Although McIntyre was 16 years old when the robbery was committed in Mansfield, Texas, he is being tried as an adult.
His defense attorney Jeff Kearney argued that although Tay-K “agreed to participate in a robbery” he did not anticipate that murder would be committed. In his opening statements on Tuesday morning, Kearney said Tay-K pleaded guilty to the two counts of aggravated robbery because he “accepts responsibly” for committing robbery.
But he said that Tay-K did not anticipate that his associate Latharian Merritt was going to “intentionally kill” Ethan Walker, who died of gunshot wounds to the stomach. Tay-K is said to have recruited Merritt.
Megan Holt, a female accomplice who testified on Tuesday after entering into a plea deal with prosecutors, said that the target of the robbery was actually Beloate, who was dating another juvenile accomplice. Holt said that she and her female accomplices recruited Tay-K because they needed guns. Tay-K then reportedly recruited three other men, Merritt, Sean Robinson, and Jalen Bell.
When they met to plan the robbery Merritt, according to the prosecutors, was armed with .40-caliber Glock, Sean Robinson was armed with a .38 caliber, while Bell only had brass knuckles. Tay-K was said to be unarmed, and according to Holt, he appeared nervous about the scheme.
The prosecutors argue that the fact that Tay-K and his associates entered the house with two guns and brass knuckles did not support the argument by his attorneys that he did not anticipate that a murder would be committed. The prosecutors insisted that in the circumstances he reasonably should have anticipated that a murder would be committed.
Prosecutor Jim Hudson also argued that McIntyre enthusiastically participated in the robbery and when his female accomplice warned him that the targets might have guns, he said “we can take care of that.”
Holt also said Tay-K was present in the meeting where Merritt bragged that he was “trigger happy.”
Tay-K faces life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years if he is found guilty of capital murder. He is also facing another capital murder charge which occurred while he was on the run after the Mansfield robbery. He allegedly robbed and fatally shot 23-year-old Mark Saldivar in April 2017.
He also allegedly robbed 65-year-old Skip Pepe at Arlington’s Cravens Park in May 2017. He was captured in New Jersey in June 2017 after a national manhunt.