Drexel: three day FBI search concludes
Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor — a person of interest in the Brittanee Drexel disappearance — who pleaded guilty to federal charges on an unrelated six-year-old crime, is asking to be released on bond until his sentencing next month.
Taylor pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a Hobbs Act robbery for driving the getaway car in a Mount Pleasant McDonald’s heist that left one person injured in 2011.
Taylor was out on bond in the case when he was arrested on Halloween for allegedly violating the conditions of his home detention. A federal judge ordered Taylor to remain in jail until his sentencing.
Taylor had already served two years of probation for the McDonald’s robbery under the state criminal justice system, but the case was resurrected in federal court after investigators looking into Drexel’s disappearance heard Taylor’s name in their search for a suspect.
Drexel was 17 when police say she was abducted from Myrtle Beach a day after she came for a spring break trip without her parents’ permission in April 2009. FBI agents say they suspect the Rochester, N.Y., teen was held against her will for several days before she was killed in the McClellanville area.
A federal agent testified in court last year that jailhouse informants told investigators she was held at a stash house where she was sexually abused by multiple people and was shot when she tried to escape.
Informants told police Taylor was at the house and knows more than he is saying about Drexel, but Taylor’s attorney says his client was in school on the days and times when informants put Taylor with Drexel.
“The court cannot schedule a sentencing hearing until on or after January 8,” Taylor’s attorney, Mark Peper, said in a recent motion to reconsider Taylor’s detention order. “Taylor respectfully moves this court reconsider its order of detention and grant defendant pre-sentence release.”
Taylor faces at least a decade in prison for the conspiracy charge, but federal prosecutors said they would ask the court for a lesser sentence if Taylor comes clean about past criminal activities and passes a polygraph.
Federal prosecutors told The Sun News earlier this year that there were two plea deals on the table for Taylor in the federal robbery case and that he was offered the worst of the two when he failed a polygraph.
Most of the questions Taylor failed to tell the truth on were related to the Drexel case, prosecutors said in July.
The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in Drexel’s disappearance.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Myrtle Beach Police Department at 843-918-1382, the CUE Center for Missing Persons’ 24-hour tip line at 910-232-1687 or the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.