Tay-K, Rapper Who Went Viral With ‘The Race,’ Is Found Guilty of Murder | Modern Society of USA

Tay-K, Rapper Who Went Viral With ‘The Race,’ Is Found Guilty of Murder

Tay-K, Rapper Who Went Viral With ‘The Race,’ Is Found Guilty of Murder

Taymor McIntyre, a Texas teenager best known as the rapper Tay-K (or Tay-K 47), was found guilty of murder on Friday for his role in a 2016 armed robbery that left one man dead and, in a controversial series of events, helped to kick-start Tay-K’s brief, viral rise in hip-hop.

“The Race,” a song Mr. McIntyre released online the same day he was apprehended by United States marshals after three months on the lam in 2017, included boasts from the rapper about violent crime and eluding law enforcement. The video, which has been viewed more than 173 million times on YouTube, featured a baby-faced Tay-K posing with a handgun next to his own wanted poster, and caused a stir online for its unabashed muddying of the line between art and life.

The track was remixed widely by artists including 21 Savage, Lil Yachty and Fetty Wap as #FreeTayK became an online rallying cry, and “The Race” was eventually certified platinum, reaching No. 44 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Mr. McIntyre, now 19, faces between five and 99 years in prison, though he was found not guilty of capital murder, which would have carried a mandatory sentence of 40 years without parole. The jury had begun deliberating on Thursday afternoon when the defense opted not to call a single witness. Tarrant County prosecutors moved immediately into the sentencing phase of the trial following the verdict on Friday, with a decision expected next week.

Mr. McIntyre had already pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery and was found guilty of a third count tied to the incident, but his lawyers argued that he should not be convicted of murder because he was not the gunman in the killing. Six others were charged in the robbery that left Ethan Walker, 21, dead in July 2016. Prosecutors argued that Mr. McIntyre knew a shooting would occur when he and the others agreed to commit a robbery in hopes of finding drugs and money.

The rapper, who was 16 at the time, was certified as an adult to stand trial. He had been placed on house arrest with an ankle monitor when he escaped in the spring of 2017, setting off a manhunt for what the United States Marshals Service deemed a “violent fugitive.”

According to prosecutors, Mr. McIntyre committed a separate murder in San Antonio while on the run, and he has also been charged with beating and robbing a 65-year-old man in an Arlington park. Both trials are forthcoming.

Brian W. Butcher, a lawyer representing the families of Mr. Walker and two other alleged victims of Mr. McIntyre, said in a statement that civil lawsuits against the rapper were ongoing. “I am glad a Fort Worth jury delivered justice,” he said, but added that “justice will not be fully complete until every penny of profit from McIntyre’s music is awarded as compensation to his victims.”

Representatives for Tay-K declined to comment on Friday.

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