The 19-year-old musician, who released a hit single while fleeing from the authorities, faces 99 years in prison.
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 killed a man and, in a controversial series of events, helped Tay-K’s short, viral rise of hip hop
“The Race,” a song that Mr. McIntyre published on the same day on the day of his arrest by American marshals after three months on the run, including rapper attempts at violent crime and violations of the law. The video, viewed more than 173 million times on YouTube, contained a baby-faced Tay-K posing with a hand weapon next to his own wanted poster, and caused unrest for his impudent muddy line between art and life.
The song was remixed on a large scale by artists including 21 Savage, Lil Yachty and Fetty Wap when #FreeTayK became an online battle cry and ‘The Race’ was eventually certified as platinum and reached number 44 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Mr. McIntyre, now 19, is in jail for between five and 99 years, although he was not found guilty of a capital murder that would have had a 40-year mandatory sentence without conditional release. The jury was consulted on Thursday afternoon when the defense chose not to call a single witness. The Tarrant County attorneys immediately went to the trial of the trial after the Friday verdict, with a decision expected next week.
Mr. McIntyre had already pleaded two counts of a serious theft and found a third count related to the incident, but his lawyers argued that he should not be sentenced for murder because he was not the shooter in the murder . Six others were charged with the robbery in which Ethan Walker, 21, died in July 2016. Public prosecutors argued that Mr. McIntyre knew that a shooting would take place when he and the others agreed to commit a robbery in the hope that they would find drugs and money.
The rapper, who was then 16, was certified as an adult to stand trial. He was placed under house arrest with an ankle monitor when he escaped in the spring of 2017 and set up a human hunt for what the United States Marshall Service regarded as a “violent fugitive.”
According to prosecutors, Mr. McIntyre committed a separate murder in San Antonio while on the run, and has also been accused of beating and robbing a 65-year-old man in an Arlington park. Both tests are forthcoming.
Brian W. Butcher, an attorney representing the families of Mr. Mr. Walker and two other alleged victims of Mr. McIntyre represents, said in a statement that there were civil lawsuits against the rapper. “I am happy that a Fort Worth jury has delivered justice,” he said, adding that “justice will only be complete if all of the profits from McIntyre’s music are paid out as compensation for his victims.”
Tay-K representatives refused to respond on Friday.