MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An up-and-coming Memphis rapper signed to rap star Gucci Mane’s label is among three men charged in a late December murder, but his attorney says he’s innocent.
Twenty-five-year-old Daniel Bates, who goes by the stage name Mac Critter, sits behind bars at 201 Poplar Tuesday, along with his brother Danterio Owens and Gary Taylor.
The trio is charged with first degree murder in connection to the killing of Markeith Taylor. Memphis Police say Taylor was fatally shot in late December in a vacant lot on Wells Avenue.
The scene was so chaotic, a second man in the crowd was killed hours later. Police haven’t said if the shootings are related, but WREG has learned there’s a connection between Bates and Taylor.
The victim, Taylor, has a child with Bates’ sister, his attorney Art Horne said Tuesday.
Mac Critter is signed to rap star Gucci Mane’s The New 1017 label. Horne says says he hopes the public isn’t too quick to judge his client.
“He’s a good young man,” Horne said. “He doesn’t have a record, and we feel hopeful and optimistic that he will be cleared of these charges and he can move on with his music career.” 5:01
Detectives say a witness identified 26-year-old Gary Taylor as the shooter. Shortly after his arrest, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office said Taylor was accidentally released.
Tuesday, Taylor was taken into custody again.
Horne believes this played a role in Bates being denied bond.
“I guess in lieu of what happened with the co-defendant. none of the individuals in this case were given a bond,” Horne said.
According to an arrest affidavit, a witness says Bates was in an SUV with three other people when he asked Taylor to get out of his car and come to them. That’s when officers say the four men brandished handguns, one of them firing the shots that would kill Taylor.
A witness says the trio are known gang members. Horne, however, said he is not aware that his client is a gang member.
Horne says he is questioning the credibility of the witness and plans to argue his client was not at the scene.
“I’m not sure if this is someone putting my client in it because of a past situation, or ongoing beef,” he said.
Bates is set to appear in court next week. His attorney is hoping he’ll get bond.