CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A teenager who drove the getaway car from a Charleston murder scene was sentenced Thursday to spend up to 10 years in prison.
Naquil Sayles, 17, was sentenced for what he did after 18-year-old Tymel McKinney was shot and killed on the front porch of his
Sixth Street home back in April. He previously pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the murder and fleeing the scene. Sayles has agreed to testify against the two men charged with murder, D.J. Carter and Mark Gaddy.
At Thursday’s sentencing, Sayles’ attorney expressed Sayles’ desire to continue his education and asked for the court to consider Sayles’ age, role, and remorse. Sayles decided to address the court and Tymel’s mother himself.
“If there was something that I could do to have it change, I would. As I tell them, my mom, and the court, me and your son were friends. If I just knew this thing was going to happen to him, I would have had no parts of it. I would have tried my best to have it change so that your son would be here right now. I don’t know how you feel, because I ain’t never lost a kid, but I know it hurts. I’m sorry. I know sorry ain’t going to do much, but I’m trying, I’m sorry,” Sayles said.
Sayles then said he wants to make his family proud, ending his statement with “You’ll never see me in this courtroom again.”
Tymel’s mother, Deanna McKinney, told the court she wanted to show Sayles some kindness, but his attitude on social media sites shortly after the murder has made that difficult.
“In the beginning, I wanted to have compassion and sympathy for Naquil due to his age and due to the fact that he didn’t get out of the car. As time went on and things started to come out to the light, Naquil was on Twitter, taking pictures, happy, talking about ‘he’s not no snitch, he’s not snitching’, he’s not this and that, that really hurt me. I don’t know if I can trust anything that comes out of his mouth,” McKinney said.
Kanawha County Assistant Prosecutor Fred Giggenbach said McKinney didn’t have to die.
“This was a case about gangs, guns, and violence. Tymel McKinney did not have to die sitting on his porch. He was gunned down by DJ Carter and Mark Gaddy. The defendant drove the getaway car,” Giggenbach said.
Tymel was Deanna McKinney’s only son. Since Tymel’s death, Deanna has spoken at several events around Charleston, making sure that her son’s death was not in vain and taking a stand against violence.
“A lesson definitely needs to be learned because my son did not deserve to die on his front porch,” McKinney said.
Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom said he’s required to reconsider Sayles’ sentence when he turns 18 next week.