19-year-old rapper Tay-K, best known for his infamous song and video "The Race," is currently on trial for his suspected involvement in a home invasion which led to murder. As Tay-K was a minor at the time of the crime, he's not eligible for the death penalty, but he is facing a possible life sentence. He was initially arrested and placed on house arrest, but cut off his ankle bracelet and went on the run.
Tay's already pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery, but he pleaded not guilty to the capital murder charge. As reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, concerns over the artist's mental health following his capture when was on the run have been raised in court, although U.S. Marshalls suspect he could be making up the claims.
Union County Sheriff's Investigator George Gyure testified in court on Wednesday that Tay-K claimed he swallowed a bottle of pills before his capture, and as a result started to hear voices in his head. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was tested for drugs, but the results came back negative. Despite this, Tay reportedly insisted he was hearing voices. He was placed in a psychiatric ward for a day, and later moved to a detention center.
After Tay-K was placed on house arrest following the initial capital murder charge, he cut off his ankle bracelet and went on the run at the age of 16. His capture in New Jersey was the incident that saw him speak about the bottle of pills and voices in his head, which U.S. Marshalls have claimed he made up to avoid jail time.
Zachary Beloate, the man who survived the home invasion but was shot in the process, testified earlier this week during the trial. He added that everyone involved had their faces covered. The five other defendants involved in the case have been found guilty or reached plea deals. Defense attorneys for Tay-K state that the rapper did not carry a weapon or know that an accomplice would shoot Ethan Walker, who was murdered during the home invasion. During his interogation, he insisted he did not know who shot Walker and Beloate.
Tay-K is fighting another capital murder and aggravated robbery case, as he was supposedly involved with the murder of a 23-year-old photographer and the robbery of a 65-year-old man. If he's convicted of capital murder, he will be sentenced to life in prison with a chance for parole in 40 years.