Judge refuses to dismiss federal charges against man connected to Brittanee Drexel case

CHARLESTON, SC (WBTW) - A judge has decided not to dismiss federal charges against a man who, according to the FBI, has connections to the Brittanee Drexel case.

Timothy Taylor is from McClellanville, a small town in Charleston County. Taylor asked a judge to dismiss an indictment to a crime unrelated to the disappearance and presumed death of Drexel.

Court documents filed Monday state Taylor was "involved in an armed robbery of a McDonald's restaurant in Mount Pleasant" in September 2011. The document goes on to say that Taylor planned and then robbed the restaurant with two other suspects.

During the robbery, one of the men involved in the robbery with Taylor shot the restaurant manager in the leg and in the hand. Documents say Taylor was the one who drove the car to and from the McDonald's and pleaded guilty to the crime in state court. Taylor received a probationary sentence for the crime.

"While investigating Taylor's involvement in a separate crime involving the 2009 disappearance of a teenager, the United States learned of Taylor's 2011 armed robbery and pursued a subsequent federal prosecution," the court document reads.

In 2016, the shooter in the McDonald's robbery was also indicted on federal charges.

Taylor claimed his indictment violated the double jeopardy clause because he already served time on a state charge for the same crime. He also claimed the federal indictment is barred by the due process clause as well as the cruel and unusual punishment clause.

A judge denied that claim Monday and will let the federal indictment stand, writing, "Each of these arguments is without merit, and the motion is denied in full."

The FBI thinks Taylor is connected to Drexel's disappearance and subsequent killing although Taylor has never been formally charged in the Drexel case.

Drexel went missing in Myrtle Beach more than eight years ago. Investigators never found her body.

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