A bodyguard for heavyweight rapper Big Punisher was sentenced Tuesday
morning (March 2) to 60 days in jail and six months' probation following a
conviction for discharging a firearm during a July indoor concert in Pontiac,
Felix Cabrera, who pleaded no contest to charges of firing a gun inside a
building Feb. 2, also was fined a total of $2,060. He faced up to four years in
"The judge didn't give him a huge break, and she didn't go overboard either,"
assistant prosecuting attorney Kenneth Frazee said, referring to the decision by
Michigan Circuit Court Judge Nanci Grant. "The sentence was kind of right
down the middle for someone with a lack of serious record. But I'm very pleased
that we convicted him and followed it through."
Herbert Larson, Cabrera's lawyer in Michigan, could not be reached for
comment regarding his client's sentence.
Cabrera began serving his ordered time behind bars following the sentencing Tuesday, a clerk
in Grant's chambers said. He was given two days' credit toward the sentence for
jail time already served after his arrest.
Prosecutors alleged that Cabrera, 33, fired a 9 mm pistol in the air during Big
Punisher's July 9 concert at the Industry nightclub, causing patrons to flee the
club and spurring a battle between members of the audience and police outside
the theater. The gunshots allegedly were fired to restore order in the theater
after concert-goers became unruly, police said. No serious injuries were
reported, and Pontiac police are not pursuing further investigation.
Cabrera was arrested near a dumpster in an alley behind the club. In the
dumpster, police found a 9 mm pistol and a .45-caliber gun.
"The positive factors for the defendant were that no one was seriously injured,
and his record wasn't really bad compared to a lot of people we deal with,"
Frazee said, adding that Cabrera had previous arrests in New York but no
recent offenses in Michigan.
"The negative factors involved the fact he discharged a weapon inside a
crowded concert venue, which we all know could lead to disaster," Frazee
explained. "Just because it didn't lead to someone being seriously hurt or killed
in this case doesn't diminish the seriousness of the act or the fact that it's a
crime. Hopefully, others that learn of the case will realize there are serious
Big Punisher's album Capital Punishment was released last April and hit
#5 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in its first week of release, spurred
on by the success of
(RealAudio excerpt) and its remix, "Still Not a Player."
At last week's Grammy Awards, Capital Punishment lost out to
Jay-Z's Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life in the category for Best Rap
Album. Big Punisher attended the ceremony, while Jay-Z boycotted the
event -- his business partner cited the Academy's "disrespect to rap" as the reason for his absence.