By Maurice Bobb
Rapper Ra Diggs, born Ronald Herron, was found guilty of three counts of murder in Federal District Court in Brooklyn on Thursday (June 26).
Diggs, known as a "YouTube rapper," was found guilty in all 21 counts he faced, which -- in addition to the murders of three rival drug dealers -- also included racketeering and drug trafficking, The New York Times is reporting. He will be sentenced by Judge Nicholas Garaufis on October 1.
Diggs’ case was an unusual one because prosecutors used his rap lyrics and YouTube videos as evidence against him during trial. The lyrics in question featured him boasting that he was a high-ranking member of the Bloods that beat a murder case. Additionally, he bragged about retaliating against his rivals.
But the defense not only insisted that those lyrics were constitutionally protected by free speech, but Uncle Murda testified saying that the “Live By The Gun” MC only boasted about guns and drugs in his music as instruments of fiction.
Diggs himself insisted that his rhymes were exaggerated accounts of violence, but the jury rejected his defense that they didn't reflect his real life.
According to the NY Daily News, Herron remained stoic while the jury’s foreman pronounced him guilty.