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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Junior P Emily Kennedy (11) winds up to pitch during Texas A&Ms game against Kentucky on April 7th, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
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Junior P Emily Kennedy (11) winds up to pitch during Texas A&Ms game against Kentucky on April 7th, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
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Former Bachelorette contestant found guilty of DWI, unlawful carrying of weapon

James+FB
James FB

The College Station Police Department arrested James McCoy Taylor, Class of 2008, on Sept. 10, 2022, charging him with driving while intoxicated and the unlawful carrying of a weapon. A year later, Taylor was found guilty on both counts on Nov. 7 at the Brazos County Courthouse after a two-day trial.

Taylor is known for appearing on season 12 of The Bachelorette in 2016 and his country singer-songwriter career, which is largely dedicated to expressing support for former-president Donald Trump.

Last year, Taylor was seen urinating by his truck in the Northgate Parking Garage and driving towards the exit gate with a gun in the driver’s door pocket accompanied by an impaired 18-year-old woman in his passenger seat, according to a police report obtained by KBTX.

Taylor was represented by defense attorney Will Vaughn, Class of 2012. Vaughn said the trial was well-run by Judge Roy Brantley, Class of 1981, of the Brazos County Courthouse. Taylor was sentenced to five days in jail, ordered to pay a total of $1,085 in fines and will have a temporary suspension on his driver’s license, according to KBTX. Vaughn said Taylor will only spend the night of Nov. 15 in jail due to the time he’s already served and the Texas jail credit systems.

“As a defense attorney, it’s hard to lose sometimes,” Vaughn said. “… James and I are not upset by the result. We don’t think it was unfair by any means, but I think we can safely say that he’s been through the system, and I tried to defend him the best that I could.”

Officers at the scene last year at Northgate described Taylor as having glassy eyes, slurred speech, smelling of alcohol and swaying while standing. He told police he consumed six drinks while at Northgate, but Taylor said he thought he was fine.

“I thought I was sober because it had been a little while since I had had a drink,” Taylor said.

Taylor said he and his friends planned to go to a hot tub at the Aspire apartment complex after they finished drinking, so he walked back to his truck in the parking garage around 2:15 a.m. alone to retrieve his bathing suit.

On his way to the garage, Taylor said a woman near a 21-and-up bar approached him, recognizing him from his appearance on The Bachelorette.

“We take a picture, and then she’s telling me she can’t find her roommate,” Taylor said.

The woman asked to stay with Taylor while she tried to contact her roommate, which he agreed to, he said. The two made their way to his truck, and before they got in, Taylor was spotted urinating in the parking lot by an off-duty Blinn College police officer around 2:45 a.m., who advised him against peeing publicly.

“Maybe I’m a savage, maybe I’m just a normal man, I don’t know,” Taylor said. “Maybe I’m the only guy that pees outside, but I’m in the bottom level of a parking garage at 2:15 [a.m.] — didn’t see anybody — I was like, ‘Who cares,’ you know? Whatever, I would’ve done that if I was sober.”

The officer also advised Taylor against driving his vehicle, but Taylor said he thought he was sober.

As Taylor and the woman began talking in his truck, Taylor said she realized her keys were missing. The two decided he would accompany her back to her dorm, but she realized her phone was dead soon after, Taylor said.

“I’m like …, ‘Let’s go charge your phone. Let’s go up to the top of the parking garage [and] try to call,’” Taylor said. “ … I go back and literally turn my truck on, and then [the officers] nail me. Right there, like waiting for me.”

In a Facebook post Taylor made on Sept. 12, 2022 addressing his arrest, he wrote, “She was literally calling her roommate from my truck when the officer approached my door.”

According to the police report, an officer found Taylor driving towards the exit gate, and they had to reach inside of his truck to turn off the ignition.

“I’m cooperative, telling them everything,” Taylor said. “Then I talk a little crap. I got mad because I felt like the way they were treating me, they were waiting for me. I said some things I probably shouldn’t have said to that officer, but I support the police, I’m all about that. But the bike cops in College Station … those people suck.”

Taylor was arrested following field sobriety tests, and called the officer an idiot, threatening to have him fired and press charges, according to KBTX. Taylor said he is going to be more careful now due to the public eye.

“I want to make my parents proud, I want to make [Texas] A&M proud, I want to make my friends proud to be my friends,” Taylor said. “But then you also are like, ‘Man. I don’t think I was making a dumb decision’ … I wish you could just be you, but you have to think about how things look.”

The officer wrote the woman Taylor was with, “was not in any kind of condition to appraise the benefits and risks of the situation she was in,” in his report, according to KBTX.

“They made it sound terrible,” Taylor said. “They make it sound like … I’m in the sex … trade industry, and I’m about to human traffic this girl to Mexico or China … Why would you assume that someone who’s never ever even been alleged of hurting anybody — let alone a woman — why would she be in danger?”

Taylor said he had no intention of leaving the parking garage, but he wanted to drive toward the top to get better cell phone service.

Taylor said the firearm officers found in his car was registered to his dad, and it’s legal to travel across a county line with a borrowed gun from a parent. However, the possession of a gun while driving under the influence is considered the unlawful possession of a weapon.

During the arrest, Taylor said he ridiculed one bicycle cop by comparing him to Officer Barbrady from South Park.

“He’s treating me like I’m a child [and] like I’m drunk,” Taylor said. “I’m kinda making jokes at him because then, he’s pissing me off.”

During his pre-trial on Oct. 31, Taylor said officials requested he pass a breathalyzer test before driving his car and wear an ankle monitor that detects if he’s been drinking based on his sweat levels.

“It’s like they don’t know how to make a good deal because they keep offering me worse stuff,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s profile picture on Spotify pictures him wearing a shirt that says, ‘Support The Police,’ and he said he remains supportive of cops after the incident.
“In every profession — and police included — there’s gonna be some bad apples,” Taylor said. “The College Station bike department, from my experience, seems like it might have a few more bad apples than the average bunch.”

Taylor said he thinks the officer’s actions weren’t motivated by a concern for his safety.

“The way that they waited for me and the way he wrote in his report — it had to be something politically motivated or Bachelor motivated,” Taylor said. “That’s the only thing I could think of.”

Vaughn said he enjoyed representing Taylor in court and was thankful he trusted him to handle his case.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t get a better result for James, but I think at the end of the day, everything happened the way it was supposed to,” Vaughn said.

The College Station Police Department declined to comment.

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  • James Taylor McCoy

    Provided by Brazos County Detention Center
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About the Contributor
Anna Deardorff, Special Sections Editor
Anna is a communication senior from Frisco, minoring in journalism. Anna is the Special Sections Editor of Maroon Life Magazine for spring of 2024.
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