Former Dipset affiliate Max B was found guilty of manslaughter and conspiracy to commit robbery Tuesday (June 9) after a judge ruled over the case in a New Jersey courtroom.
According to the rapper’s attorney, Gerald Saluti, Max B (born Charles Wingate) was found guilty on nine of the 11 counts he was facing. The charges stem from a theft that involved the rapper, Kelvin Leerdam and Max’s former girlfriend Gina Conway. Conway eventually turned state’s evidence against the men.
Max B was accused of leading the trio to steal upward of $30,000 from two men. The incident went awry, however, when Leerdam allegedly shot one of the men.
Conway testified in the case that Max B wasn’t present at a hotel room he rented at the time of the crime. The rapper’s attorney spoke to MTV News on Tuesday and expressed frustration about Conway’s testimony.
“They found him guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery. There’s a very specific definition of robbery, by force,” Saluti explained. “Then they found him guilty of aggravated manslaughter, instead of unintentional murder. The theory on which they convicted him leads to conspiracy.
“It’s boggling,” Saluti continued. “The witness [Conway] said the plan wasn’t to rob but to go in there and steal money with no one there.”
Saluti previously filed a motion on Max’s behalf to separate his case from Leerdam’s since the second man was allegedly believed to be the shooter. The attorney said he feels his client should be facing lesser charges based on the evidence presented. He has filed an appeal with the court, and a motion should be made within 10 days, Saluti said.
Sentencing for Max B is set for July 31.
The news is undoubtedly a huge disappointment for Max’s fans, who have been waiting for his official album since he was introduced as a member of Jim Jones’ Byrd Gang crew some years ago. Max made immediate impact on the chorus of Cam’ron’s Jay-Z dis record “You Gotta Love It.” Jones featured Max on a string of underground songs and mixtapes until Max was arrested on his charges in 2006.
Jones posted $2 million bond, but things fell apart between the two from what Jones called disloyalty and jealousy. Max claimed he was wronged financially. The feud has yet to be resolved, despite B still being signed to Jones’ record label.
B has kept himself visible in the streets. He has hundreds of songs on mixtapes circulating over the past few years.
Max formed an alliance with French Montana, who built a strong name for himself in the mixtape and street-DVD circuits. Max and French branched out to work with G-Unit’s Tony Yayo, who told MTV News he would have loved to sign B if he could get the business straightened out with Jones. Besides more mixtapes, Max had a deal with Amalgam Digital to release an LP, which has yet to see the light of day.