[url id="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/jones_jim_rap_/artist.jhtml"]Jim Jones[/url] had an eventful Tuesday (March 24). In the morning, the Diplomat crew boss started out with a visit to the Manhattan Criminal Court in connection with his alleged altercation with Ne-Yo manager Jayvon Smith at a Louis Vuitton store in Manhattan over Christmas.
Then, later in the day, the MC was scheduled to do an in-store at the soon-to-be-shuttered Virgin Megastore in New York in support of his just-released fourth album, Pray IV Reign.
Though details about the incident are still a bit sketchy, police believe that Jones and/or some members of his crew got into a physical altercation with some members of Ne-Yo’s entourage at the LV store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Christmas Eve.
Jones’ attorney, Scott Leemon, told MTV News on Tuesday that the rapper appeared in court briefly as the prosecution turned over medical records that allegedly catalog Smith’s injuries. Leemon said Jones was offered and turned down a plea deal down to a misdemeanor assault charge that would have come with 10 days of community service or 15 days in jail. “There are witnesses who’ve stated that Mr. Jones did not start the physical altercation,” Leemon said. “This is clearly a setup for a civil suit.”
In fact, Jones is not only facing criminal charges for the alleged incident, but also reportedly a $7 million civil lawsuit brought by Smith, who claims the rapper seriously injured him in the alleged fight. Leemon said he’s read about the suit, but has not yet seen any paperwork related to it. Jones pleaded not guilty to the assault charges on February 4. The trial is scheduled to begin on April 21.