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2:16-cr-00480-DCN Date Filed 03/14/18 Entry Number 104 Page 1 of 6

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
CHARLESTON DIVISION

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CR. NO.: 2:16-480

v.

TIMOTHY DA’SHAUN TAYLOR

SENTENCING MEMORANDUM

The United States, through its undersigned attorneys, files this

Sentencing Memorandum to inform the Court of facts and circumstances

surrounding the prosecution, negotiation, plea, and sentencing of Timothy

Da’Shaun Taylor (Defendant). The Defendant should be sentenced within the

120-240 month range, as agreed to by the parties through the Rule

11(c)(1)(C) provision of the plea agreement and as acknowledged by the

Defendant during his change of plea hearing.

In September 2011, the Defendant, along with Joseph Whiteside and

Deron Moultrie, planned and executed the armed robbery of a McDonald's

restaurant in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, during which the manager was

shot. Whiteside was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Moultrie was sentenced

to an indeterminate sentence of up to six years incarceration. Taylor, who

orchestrated the robbery and acted as the getaway driver, received a

probationary sentence. The facts, as previously articulated to the Court, are

as follows:
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The Defendant approached Whiteside about committing robberies in

Georgetown. Whiteside stated that the McDonald’s in Mount Pleasant would

be an easier target because he knew an employee who would provide inside

information. On Wednesday, August 31, 2011, the three commenced planning

the McDonald’s robbery.

On the afternoon of Friday, September 2, 2011, the Defendant, Moultrie

and Whiteside drove to the McDonald's with the intention of committing the

robbery. However, when they arrived, they noticed too many customers

inside, so they decided to come back the next morning between 4 a.m. and 6

a.m., when only the manager would be present.

At 5:30 a.m. the following morning, the Defendant drove his Ford Crown

Victoria, accompanied by Moultrie, and picked up Whiteside. On arrival at the

McDonald’s, Whiteside and Moultrie got out of the car, entered the restaurant

through the front door, and forced the manager to the safe at gunpoint. When

the manager refused to open the safe, Whiteside shot him in the hand and

leg. The wounded manager then opened the safe and handed over the money.

Whiteside and Moultrie then fled the store and joined the Defendant in the

getaway car out back. Once they were safely away, the three divided the

money equally.

The three were apprehended and then charged by the Charleston

County Solicitor’s Office. The Defendant subsequently confessed to his

involvement, pled guilty to Robbery, and received a probationary sentence.


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The United States learned of the Defendant’s participation in the

McDonald’s robbery, as well as his subsequent punishment, in the course of

investigating a separate crime – the abduction and murder of seventeen-year-

old Brittanee Drexel somewhere in the Myrtle Beach and McClellanville areas.

The Defendant is a subject in that investigation. Further inquiries into the

details of the robbery indicated that the Defendant’s penalty was far below

what his co-defendants received, particularly given his level of involvement,

which justified a subsequent federal prosecution. That gave rise to the

pending matter.

Despite overwhelming evidence of the Defendant’s guilt and the high

probability of conviction, the Government made him the following offer: If he

would provide truthful substantial assistance to law enforcement regarding

crimes of which he was aware, including the Drexel matter, the Government

would dismiss the most severe count pending against him, which would yield

a sentence in the 0-20 year range, rather than subjecting him to a potential

of life sentence. The Government was willing to defer to the Court as to where

the Defendant should be sentenced within that range.

However, if the Defendant provided untrue information, he would be

subject to a sentence between ten and twenty years. Again, the Government

would defer to the Court regarding what would be appropriate within that

range.
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The measure of his truthfulness would be a Government-administered

polygraph (Attachment A). The Defendant agreed to be tested. On June 14,

2017, FBI Special Agent Rob Waizenhofer administered the examination.

During the test, the Defendant was asked several questions (none of which

were “What is your name?”). The most significant questions were these two:

1. “Do you know for sure who was involved in the disappearance of

Brittanee Drexel?”

2. “Did you ever see Brittanee Drexel in person?”

“Know for sure” was defined as (A) being directly involved himself in the

disappearance/kidnapping/or killing of Drexel; (B) actually seeing someone

else take, detain, or kill Drexel, or (C) being told by someone directly involved

in the disappearance of Drexel that they were involved in it.

“See Brittanee Drexel in person” was defined as being in the actual

presence of Drexel so that he could have actually touched her or she could

have touched him.

The Defendant answered “No” to both questions; Agent Waizenhofer

told him that he was being deceptive. He was given the opportunity to meet

with his lawyer, and his lawyer came to discuss with Agent Waizenhofer the

results of the test. Agent Waizenhofer showed the attorney the charts and

the relevant questions as compared to the control questions. The attorney

agreed that Taylor failed the test and allowed Waizenhofer to resume the
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interview with Taylor. During that interview, Taylor became belligerent, which

ended the discussion.

As a result, the only plea agreement (Attachment B) available to the

Defendant mandated a sentence of at least 120 months’ incarceration while

maintaining a ceiling of 240 months. This provision was memorialized by the

Rule 11(c)(1)(C) provision contained in paragraph 10 of the plea agreement,

which was signed by all the parties.

The Government specifically calculated and negotiated the potential

sentence according to this provision. The only way to establish a floor – which

was in the Government’s interest – and a ceiling – which was in the

Defendant’s interest – was to define the sentence outside the context of the

Sentencing Guidelines.

During the plea colloquy, the Defendant acknowledged his sentencing

range. Page 23 of the Change of Plea transcript (Attachment C) captures the

following exchange:

The Court: “Going back to paragraph ten, you know you and I, we

talked about the Sentencing Guidelines and all that kind of stuff earlier. You

understand that by signing this plea agreement, you agreed your sentence is

going to be between ten and 20 years. Do you understand that?”

The Defendant: “Yes, sir.”

Notably included in the plea agreement is a substantial assistance

provision, found at paragraph 8. At any point, the Defendant can provide


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truthful information about criminal activity of which he has knowledge, the

Government can assess that information, and a reduction in his sentence is

still possible. Furthermore, if a third party provides substantial assistance on

his behalf, most significantly regarding the abduction, murder, or location of

Brittanee Drexel, the Government would consider moving for a reduction in

his sentence. The Defendant has every incentive to provide truthful

information to the Government, and yet he has failed to do so.

This Court has acknowledged that the Rule 11(c)(1)(C) provision is

binding, and the Government agrees. The Defendant should be sentenced to

between ten and twenty years in jail, as contemplated by the parties and

brought on by the deception of the Defendant.

Respectfully submitted,

BETH DRAKE
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

By: s/Winston D. Holliday, Jr


James H. May (Fed. ID #11355)
Winston D. Holliday, Jr. (Fed. ID #7597)
Assistant United States Attorneys
1441 Main Street, Suite 500
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
(803) 929-3000
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