Remy Ma Found Guilty In Shooting Of Friend, Faces Up To 25 Years In Jail
Remy Ma was found guilty on two charges of assault Thursday (March 27) in Manhattan Supreme Court. She faces up to 25 years if convicted on both counts.
The rapper, 26, wiped away tears as the verdict was read, then "wailed loudly and sobbed openly" as she left the courtroom in handcuffs, according to The Associated Press.
The charges stem from an incident that occurred [article id="1564773"]last July[/article] when the rapper and Makeda Barnes-Joseph argued after leaving a mutual acquaintance's birthday party. Remy Ma alleged Barnes-Joseph stole several thousand dollars from her purse that night; Barnes-Joseph was shot after the two struggled in her car. Remy Ma fled the scene in an SUV but crashed nearby. Neither the money nor the weapon have been found.
Charges of tampering and gang assault, related to the case, were thrown out, the rapper's attorney, Ivan Fisher, told MTV News on Thursday. Sentencing for the case is scheduled for April 22.
Fisher told MTV News he intends to file an appeal for his client immediately.
"The jury acquitted the second half of the indictment," he said, referring to the [article id="1575874"]tampering and intimidation charges[/article]. "That will help the appeal because that evidence, those charges, shouldn't have been in the case to begin with. And there are other issues we think may turn the conviction around."
However, he conceded, "It's a bad day."
The back-and-forth in the case has been contentious from the beginning.
During the [article id="1583133"]opening arguments[/article], Fisher characterized Barnes-Joseph as a celebrity groupie. He told the jury Barnes-Joseph was misrepresenting events in an effort to win a big financial payoff. She filed a [article id="1578531"]$10 million civil lawsuit[/article] against the rapper but later withdrew it, according to Fisher.
Prosecutors attempted to paint Remy Ma as a gun-toting intimidator. Assistant District Attorney Jason Berland told jurors the rapper was calculating and bullying, citing an August incident during which a group of men allegedly close to Remy Ma assaulted Barnes-Joseph's boyfriend and broke his nose. Charges were brought against the rapper for intimidation but were thrown out in the conviction. Prosecutors also noted the gun Remy Ma carried was loaded with hollow-point bullets, intended to severely cause injury.
From the beginning the former Terror Squad rapper maintained her innocence, telling a group of reporters at her New Jersey home shortly after the incident that [article id="1564915"]she did not shoot her friend[/article]. During closing remarks, however, her attorney conceded his client did in fact shoot Barnes-Joseph, but labeled it an accident. [article id="1584003"]Fisher told jurors[/article] the weapon went off while the two women struggled with each other during their argument.