Tuesday (May 13) was a rough day for Remy Ma. One day after her planned jailhouse nuptials to fellow rapper Papoose were called off due to a misunderstanding about an alleged skeleton key Pap was wearing when he showed up at Rikers Island prison, the MC was sentenced to eight years in prison.
On March 27, Remy Ma (born Reminisce Smith), 26, was found guilty of two charges of assault , in connection with an argument she had with a friend, Makeda Barnes-Joseph, last July, during which Barnes-Joseph was shot two times while the two women struggled in a car.
According to Remy Ma’s lawyer, Ivan Fisher, the New York Supreme Court sentenced her to eight years in prison on Tuesday for charges of assault, weapons possession and attempted coercion. Fisher said the prosecution had originally requested a 13-year sentence — less than the max of 25 years she was facing — but the judge in the case gave the rapper eight years, which Fisher plans to appeal very soon. Though he couldn’t say for sure, Fisher said it’s possible the judge in the case was swayed by an emotional address Ma gave the court during the proceeding, during which she addressed the victim directly.
“Remy Ma spoke to the court and movingly spoke to the victim, who was in court, to share with her how sorrowful she was about what happened to her,” Fisher said. “It was an extremely moving moment, where she expressed how badly she felt about the tragedy of being shot and that she was very, very sorry it happened to Makeda.”
The rapper burst into tears as the sentence was read, and Fisher described her state as “benumbed,” “very emotional” and “sobbing.” The lawyer said Ma “spoke to the court about the impact the sentence would have on her son [who is 7 years old].”
Both Remy Ma and Fisher have said that the shooting was an accident. After the sentence was handed down, The Associated Press reported that Papoose screamed, “All you want is money!” in the hallway outside the courtroom, seemingly addressing Barnes-Joseph, whose civil suit against the Grammy-nominated Ma has been dropped but could be refiled in the future. Barnes-Joseph was in the courtroom for the sentencing, but was not in the hallway when Papoose began shouting, the AP reported. As he was escorted out of the courthouse by court officers, Papoose reportedly added, “Lock me up! Lock me up!”
Fisher denied that the key Papoose wore to the prison over the weekend could unlock handcuffs, as was widely reported.
“I don’t know much about it,” he said, “but I know that if the corrections folks thought this was a key used to open their handcuffs, I doubt very much that they would have released Papoose.” The lawyer added that the two still plan to wed, but maybe not until Ma is transferred to an upstate prison.
After hearing the sentence, according to XXLMag.com, Remy told the judge, “I’m not a thug. … I’m not a hard-core anything, I have feelings. I’m a wife, mother, daughter, big sister.” The site also reported that supporters of the rapper were in the courtroom wearing red-and-white T-shirts that read, “Free Remy.”