Fabolous was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and possession of a defaced firearm on Tuesday, just hours after the rapper was shot in the right thigh during an early-morning ambush in New York. He was released on $15,000 bond Wednesday and his lawyer said the MC is on the mend, but vigorously denies that any of the guns found in the car that was taking him to the hospital belonged to him.
"Sooner or later, we feel the investigation will be redirected and he will be viewed as a victim of a crime rather someone who was involved in a crime," said attorney Alberto Ebanks.
The two felony charges stem from an arrest made as Fabolous (born John Jackson), 28, was speeding from the scene of the shooting near Diddy's Justin's restaurant on his way to a Bellevue hospital to treat his gunshot wound — which Ebanks said was bleeding profusely. Police stopped the Dodge Magnum that Fab was riding in and found two weapons stashed inside the car (see "Fabolous Shot And Arrested In New York").
Ebanks said that according to New York law, any contraband seized in a car is considered to be in possession of all the occupants unless one person steps up as says it's theirs. "Nobody has done that at this point," he said. "But that's not the vehicle he drove to Justin's in, it was just the one that picked him up after he was shot." Ebanks said the Magnum is owned by the MC's corporation, Ghetto Fabolous Inc., but nobody claims to have seen Fab with a gun inside or outside Justin's that night.
"I don't know that he knows anything about those guns in that car, and he categorically denies carrying or possessing any firearms," Ebanks said. "If he had two guns, he probably wouldn't have gotten shot that day."
A New York Police Department spokesperson would not describe how one of the two loaded guns — a 9mm and a .40 caliber pistol — had been defaced, but said typically weapons have their serial numbers removed in order to make them untraceable.
Also charged in the case were the three men traveling with Fabolous — Kevin Bass, 18; Percell German, 23; and Rascharm Davis, 29 — all of whom are reportedly fellow residents of the rapper's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York.
A Def Jam Records spokesperson could not be reached at press time for comment.
The shooting occurred two hours after Boston Celtics point guard Sebastian Telfair was robbed of a $50,000 chain while he and his fiancée stood outside Justin's. Ebanks said he thinks the two incidents, while not related, are not a coincidence. "I think Justin's caters to people who are famous and wannabes who prey on its high-profile clients," he said. "My understanding is that this was absolutely not a beef, that it was not someone he expected would do something. He doesn't have any beefs with anyone."
Ebanks said it was unclear from what Fab had told him if it was a case of random violence, someone targeting "men of means," or a botched robbery, but that things happened so quickly that there's no truth to reports that Fab and his entourage know who fired the shots and are not cooperating with police in identifying the assailants.
"It was late at night, he was waiting for his car to be pulled up and if he knew who it was, we would know," Ebanks said. "No one walked up to him and shot him. Whoever did it was inside a car." As for reports that the Magnum had a secret compartment in which the guns were hidden, Ebanks said that he doesn't think Fab knew anything about the guns in the car.
"No one alleges that there were any guns in the car he drove there in," Ebanks said. "Any car that would have pulled up and taken him to the emergency room he would have jumped into because he was bleeding profusely." The attorney said despite the bullet passing fully through his upper thigh and the seriousness of the wound, Fab is expected to make a full recovery.
Ebanks said the felony charges, which could carry a sentence of two to seven years, will likely be dismissed because it's clear Fab was not in possession of the weapons. "The police arrested him because they had to," he said.
[This story was originally published 12:48 p.m. ET on 10.18.06.]