A man who attempted to carjack two cars in Cedar Rapids and later tried to have a witness to those crimes killed was sentenced on February 15, 2023, to twenty-five years in federal prison.
Christopher Daniel Taylor, age 40, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after a March 6, 2022 guilty plea to attempted carjacking and attempted witness tampering.
Information from sentencing showed that on December 3, 2020, Taylor was wanted for parole violations. After parole officers located him driving a car in Cedar Rapids, he led them and other law enforcement officers on two high-speed chases, reaching speeds of 97 miles per hour. After abandoning the car he was initially driving, Taylor stole a truck containing a firearm from the garage of a residence in Marion. Officers tried to pull Taylor over, but he fled at high speeds, moving in the direction of Collins Road NE and into high traffic.
Taylor stopped the stolen truck near Lindale Mall on the wrong side of the road. Taylor ran up to an oncoming car and tried to pull open the driver’s side door. When the car reversed away from him, Taylor shot at the car, using the firearm from the stolen truck. Taylor then attempted to carjack a truck in the Lindale Mall parking lot, pointing the firearm at the driver, and threatening to shoot. The driver used his door to push Taylor off the truck. A police officer took Taylor into custody after chasing him on foot across Collins Road NE.
After Taylor was arrested, he was detained in the Linn County Correctional Center. Between April 12, 2021, and December 2021, he repeatedly asked someone to kill a witness to his attempted carjackings. He wanted his potential accomplice to give the witness a “hot shot,” meaning a lethal dose of contaminated drugs.
Taylor has prior convictions for extortion, burglary, sexual abuse, and assault causing injury.
Taylor was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams. In sentencing Taylor, Judge Williams noted that on December 3, 2020, Taylor had gone on “a crime spree” and that Taylor’s criminal history showed “an unceasing pattern of violence.” Taylor was sentenced to 300 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
Taylor is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kyndra Lundquist and investigated by the Marion Police Department, the Cedar Rapids Police Department, and the Cedar Rapids Safe Streets Task Force. The task force is composed of representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cedar Rapids Police Department.
Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The case file number is 21-CR-0016.
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