A county court in Michigan erupted into song when a convicted felon took the occasion to express contrition to his mother, a victim, and the judge. The 21-year-old Brian Earl Taylor stood before Washtenaw County Judge Darlene O’Brien and sang a heartfelt apology, surprising onlookers after he had address the court on March 10. Taylor’s ditty seemed to be derived from “Hello”: a melancholic song of love and loss that rocketed British songstress Adele into popular stardom.

It took Taylor a little less than a minute to sing, "Hello there, your honor." Taylor continued, singing "I want to say I'm sorry for the things I've done and I'll try and be stronger in this life I chose, but I want you to know -- that door, I closed.” With a rising register, Taylor expressed his appeal for forgiveness. "And your honor I'm sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry."

Taylor also expressed sorrow to the victim of his crimes, as well as his own mother. He said he wants to be a proper role model for a young brother, and to be of help to his mother.

Judge O’Brien praised the felon as an "obviously a talented young man," who she hopes will take recourse to education and training that are offered in prison.

Before performing his soulful song, Taylor said that he plans to attend nearby Eastern Michigan University and attain a degree in business management. He added that he wants to be more involved with his church upon release, as well as refrain from smoking weed.

Taylor asked the judge for clemency, requesting that he receive a sentence of only 36 months in order to finish his degree by the time he reaches the age of 26.

O'Brien, however, said the minimum guideline range for his crimes was 50 to 100 months.

Police records show that Taylor was arrested when officers found him grappling with another man and holding a pistol to his victim’s abdomen. The incident happened on November 9, 2015, in a stairway at the Peninsular Place apartments in nearby Ypsilanti. Ypsilanti police said they believed that three men forced a 23-year-old man into a vehicle at gunpoint, and then drove to the end of Railroad Street to rob him. They then drove back to a residence at Peninsular Place apartments to complete the robbery.

There were multiple felony warrants for Taylor at the time of his arrest. He was also on parole from Washtenaw County on two counts of larceny in 2013. He had been sentenced to prison after a probation violation in 2015, according to state records. Taylor was later released last year from parole.

Before delivering his song, Taylor said hopes to get a degree in business management at Eastern Michigan University, become involved in his church and stay away from marijuana after his release. Taylor was sentenced under a parole agreement to two years in prison for illegally carrying a concealed weapon, and 18 months to 15 years for unlawful imprisonment. The other five charges against him in that case were dismissed.

Taylor will first serve a sentence for his parole violation before the weapons charge, then he will serve more time on the unlawful imprisonment charge. On March 24, he will appear for pretrial hearing on yet another case in a Washtenaw County on a charge of stealing or retaining a financial transaction device without consent. There were no reports that Taylor had been offered any contracts in light of his singing abilities.

 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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