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Troy Ave Enters Not Guilty Plea On Attempted Murder Charge: Report

The rapper was wheeled into a Manhattan courtroom to officially plead not guilty to charges.

Ismail Sayeed // calligrafist

Around this time a year ago, Troy Ave sat with REVOLT to discuss the release of his star-studded second studio album, Major Without A Deal. It was in this same discussion that the Brooklyn rapper, who had everyone from 50 Cent to Rick Ross paying attention, gave a telling quote about his long and tiring journey from underground fame to growing mainstream attention: "The feeling of having a dream and sh*t coming true is indescribable."

Go forward to a year later and we find the promising star’s run to the spotlight brought to a screeching halt due to the unforeseen events that occurred inside New York City’s Irving Plaza on the night of May 25. As reported, one man was killed and three others wounded in the incident, which not only left Troy, born Roland Collins, among the injured, but also saw him arrested and indicted on charges of attempted murder and four counts of criminal possession of a weapon. The fatality that evening happened to be Ronald McPhatter, also known as "Banga," who was a longtime friend and bodyguard to the 33-year-old Brooklyn rapper.

After dodging a murder charge in the Irving Plaza shooting earlier this week, Troy appeared in a Manhattan courtroom on Wednesday (June 22) in a wheelchair as he was read the indictment handed down by the District Attorney’s office (one count of second degree attempted murder and three counts of second degree criminal possession of a weapon.) The rapper pleaded not guilty to the charges. A subsequent hearing has been scheduled for July 14, while a bail hearing has been set for July 1. A date for the decision was also scheduled for September 8.

Dressed in a short-sleeved white polo over black pants, the rapper was wheeled into the courthouse, where nerves were as thick as a summer’s haze with family and friends waiting anxiously to hear the latest update in the ongoing legal proceedings, and sat before Judge Ronald A. Zweibel. The McPhatter family was also in attendance, including Troy’s mother, brother, and peers.

Troy Ave was arrested on May 27, following a backstage altercation during the Irving Plaza concert that was set to be headlined by T.I. Ronald McPhatter, 33, was later confirmed dead after suffering a gunshot wound, while three others were hurt, including the BK rapper himself. “I said it in court, he’s the real victim here,” said Troy’s attorney Scott Leemon after the proceedings.

The rapper is still recovering from gunshot wounds sustained during the melee. "He’s still recovering from gunshot wounds on both of his legs," said John Stella, one of the rapper’s attorneys. "We don’t know if it was one shot because the shot went in an upward trajectory and entered his right leg and exited his right thigh, about the knee, and there’s a second wound to his left thigh that the bullet actually lodged in."

In the courtroom, Assistant District Attorney Christine Keenan made it clear that the charges within the current indictment stem from what took place on the balcony of the Irving Plaza concert space. As far as what took place in the VIP room, wherein the initial shots were fired, an investigation is still underway. As of this writing, no arrests have been made.

After the hearing, Leemon told reporters, "He is the victim. He was shot by somebody else. His bodyguard was shot by somebody else. This is a case where he should be let out on bail and treated like a victim." John Stella, Leemon’s co-counsel, also added, "He’s not responsible for anything in the green room… There was a struggle that happened in that green room and a lot of confusion."

Leemon later added, "We’re very confident that after the investigation [they’ll see] that he did not shoot himself, he did not shoot his best friend and he’s not responsible for the injuries in the [venue]."

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