Timothy Taylor: One Step Closer To Freedom

Timothy Taylor poses for a photo with Chronicle writer Beverly Gadson-Birch, family and supporters on Saturday at Bible Way Baptist Church in West Ashley

By Beverly Gadson-Birch  

Thursday, August 16, Timothy Taylor was released once again on bond and on Saturday, the community held a welcome home celebration at Bible Way Baptist Church in West Ashley.

Timothy’s supporters were on hand to greet and meet him for the first time. Many had participated in marches and demonstrations at the Federal Courthouse to “Free Timothy Taylor”.

It’s been a long row to hoe for Timothy Taylor and his family. Although Timothy is out on bond, his freedom hangs in the balance. Timothy had been in jail since October 2017 while awaiting sentencing in Federal Court.   

He was previously arrested for his connection in a robbery at a McDonald’s in Mt. Pleasant. Timothy never entered the building. He reportedly left two co-defendants, called for help and never went back to the McDonald’s.

He was sentenced by the state under the Youthful Offender’s Act to 5 years’ probation.

In July 2016, Timothy was detained and arrested by the F.B.I. (indicted on same state charges saying sentencing was not enough).

Timothy learned that on a tip from a jailhouse informant he was also a suspect in Brittanee Drexel’s kidnapping.

Timothy’s father, Timothy Sr., was also implicated and detained but released after video evidence placed him at a fast food restaurant during the time he was allegedly aiding his son in Brittanee’s kidnapping and murder. Brittanee’s case remains unsolved.

Timothy’s trouble began when he was sixteen years old. Ten years later, his troubles may be coming to an end pending the outcome of a Supreme Court case, Gamble vs the United States.

Gamble was tried and convicted in state court for possession of a gun by a felon.  He served his time and was later arrested by the feds for the same offense. This type of case is often referred to as “double jeopardy” cases. “Double jeopardy” occurs when a person is arrested, tried and convicted or acquitted by the state and subsequently by federal.

Rev. Lawrence Bratton, Pastor of Bible Way Baptist Church, spearheaded the “Free Timothy Taylor” movement.

The Taylor family is vigorously fighting to clear Timothy and their family’s name. Timothy lost his left arm when he was four years old.

As family and friends gathered around Timothy to wish him well, his enduring smile said it all. It is difficult to define freedom if you have never been confined. Timothy’s mother, Joan, was overwhelmed with emotions as she thanked Timothy’s supporters.

Timothy is not totally free but he is one step closer to freedom. And, for Timothy, his father and mother, for now, that is enough!

A mother’s son is home.

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