Tay-K was all smiles when he appeared in a Tarrant County courtroom in a red jumpsuit Wednesday afternoon. But Tay-K soon learned the seriousness of his predicament when a judge officially certified him as an adult in a 2016 home invasion case – a crime that has him charged him with capital murder.
Tay-K’s attorney, Trent Loftin, issued a statement to the press following the rapper’s hearing:
“We just concluded the ‘certification transfer’ hearing for Mr. McIntre. The judge has ruled that his case should [be] moved to the adult court based on his age (and the fact that the juvenile court will lack jurisdiction soon). The judge was very clear to tell Mr. McIntyre on the record that this decision has no bearing whatsoever of his guilt/innocence in this case. After a full day hearing with numerous officers testifying under oath, officers testified there was no evidence that Mr. McIntyre engaged in any of the violent act or possessed any weapons. Mr. McIntyre remains upbeat after this hearing. I believe once all of the evidence is presented, Mr. McIntyre will be exonerated on all of the charges. We look forward to moving ahead.”
Tay-K’s adult certification carries serious consequences. If convicted of capital murder, Tay-K could face life imprisonment or worse – the death penalty.
Tay-K is facing a capital murder charge for committing a murder during a robbery. He was one of seven people arrested for the murder of 21-year-old Ethan Walker during a July 26, 2016 home invasion robbery in Mansfield, TX.
He was placed on house arrest before deciding to cut his ankle monitor off in March. U.S. Marshalls captured Tay-K in June in New Jersey, and extradited him to Fort Worth, Texas.
A judge ordered Tay-K to be held in Tarrant County adult jail until he is certified as an adult in the Mansfield case.
Tay-K’s legal woes don’t end there. He is a suspect in another murder in San Antonio after fleeing house arrest, the Star-Telegram reports.
He is also accused of beating and robbing a 65-year-old man in Arlington’s Craven Park.
Skip Pepe, 65, was attacked near his home Thursday, May 25 in broad daylight after 11 a.m., NBC 5 reports.
Pepe was walking through the Cravens Park when Tay-K allegedly approached him from behind.
“I walk like six, seven miles a day, four, five days a week,” Pepe told NBC 5. “And I hear just behind me a faint voice, ‘Give me your wallet.’”
“I looked over, and sure enough, he’s got a gun pointed at me toward my head,” Pepe said.
Pepe told authorities that Tay-K – wearing a gray or white shirt and unknown color basketball shorts – was armed with a small snub-nosed black revolver.
Pepe refused to hand over his wallet and was knocked unconscious by the robber, Star-Telegram reports.
“The whole time he had his arm extended and holding the gun sideways like that, saying, ‘Give me your wallet,’” he remembered.
Pepe identified Tay-K in a photo lineup for detectives. He again identified the rapper during an interview with NBC.
“Oh yeah,” Pepe said when shown McIntyre’s photo. “That’s the one who pulled the gun on me and beat me.”
Pepe says he’ll never forget Tay-K’s face.
“Oh, I’ll never forget, I’ll never forget his face,” said victim Skip Pepe. “He looks like an all-American high school kid.”
Pepe said he was struck at how young and clean-cut McIntyre looked.
“Looks can be very, very deceiving,” Pepe said. “And he’s very deceiving.”
Pepe suffered serious injuries from the assault, including three fractured ribs, a brain bleed, and numerous cuts and scrapes.
Tay-K gained popularity when he released his “The Race” music video upon his capture by U.S. Marshalls. Tay-K posed with his own wanted flier in the visual. Tay-K also calls himself a shooter like slain Chicago rapper Young Pappy.
He raps, “I tote 50s, I’m a shooter like Young Pappy/B***h tried rob me, make her dance, Michael Jackson.”
With the odds stacked against him, Tay-K found it best to hire as strong a legal team as possible. Tay-K now has entertainment lawyer James McMillan representing him, according to the New York Times. McMillan is known for representing Kodak Black who is battling his own legal troubles.
Tay-K, McMillan said, “has this dire situation on his back, but this opportunity on the other hand. I’m tasked with trying to make sure we maximize his opportunities so he can mount as strong of a criminal defense as possible.”
Tay-K’s other attorney, Trent Loftin, told The New York Times that the rapper “is ready for his day in court,” adding the teen was “upbeat and in good spirits.”
Loftin believes Tay-K will be cleared of all of charges.
“Since Day 1, Mr. McIntyre has cooperated with law enforcement entities and maintained his innocence,” Loftin said. “We feel confident when all of the evidence is reviewed, Mr. McIntyre will be exonerated of all of the charges.”