Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor will be going to prison, but his exact sentence remains uncertain for a 2011 armed robbery that only caught the attention of federal prosecutors when agents were investigating the 2009 disappearance of Brittanee Drexel.
He faces between 10 and 20 years in prison for the charge. But during his change of plea hearing, he also asked for the case against him to be dismissed as a violation of double jeopardy since he already pleaded guilty and served two years of probation for the crime in state court.
Judge David Norton denied the motion to dismiss on Monday.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Supervisory Agent Don Woods would not say what the FBI discovered in the last three days investigating the disappearance of Brittanee Drexel in the Georgetown area, but he did say that the “investigation was advanced."
“The Double Jeopardy Clause provides that no person shall be ‘subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life and limb,’” Norton cited in his order. “This clause does not prohibit successive prosecutions by separate sovereigns - such as the federal government and the State of South Carolina...”
Federal charges for the McDonald’s robbery were resurrected after investigators looking into Drexel’s disappearance heard Taylor’s name in their search for a suspect.
Prosecutors offered to ask the court for a lesser sentence if Taylor would tell them the location of Drexel’s remains, but Taylor has denied any involvement in the Rochester, New York teen’s disappearance.
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 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 say Taylor was at that stash house.
Prosecutors say two plea deals were on the table for Taylor in the robbery case, pending the outcome of a polygraph exam.
Taylor failed the polygraph, leaving him with an offer on the worst of the two deals, Assistant U.S. Attorney Winston Holliday said in July. Most of the questions Taylor failed to tell the truth on were related to Drexel and the Drexel case, he said.
Taylor was arrested on Halloween after a probation officer told the court he had violated his home detention orders.
A federal judge has ordered Taylor to stay in detention until he is sentenced in the robbery case. A sentencing hearing will be held once a presentence report is accepted by the courts. The report is complete, but Taylor was granted until Dec. 14 to file any objections, according to federal court records.
Brittanee Drexel's family and their supporters listen as the FBI says she was alive and seen being held against her will in McClellanville a few days after she was reported missing from Myrtle Beach in 2009. For the first time publicly, the investigators believe Drexel was killed in McClellanville and they are asking for witnesses to step forward. The FBI was joined by Drexel's family, law enforcement from the Grand Strand and SLED in a press conference in McClellanville on Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Drexel was last seen on video surveillance footage leaving the Blue Water Resort at 2001 South Ocean Boulevard in April 2009.