Pop Smoke’s death in February 2020 blindsided many hip hop fans who were thrilled to see the New York native’s rise to stardom at a young age. Yesterday (April 6), those seeking justice came one step closer to seeing that reality. The Los Angeles Times reported that an unnamed 20-year-old man pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and home invasion robbery. This makes him the first of four defendants who’ve been charged in the rapper’s death to admit fault in the case.
He was 17 at the time of the attack. Given his age then, he received a sentence of four years and two months in Los Angeles’ Secure Youth Treatment Facility instead of an adult prison. The judge chose not to apply the two years and eight months that he has already spent in juvenile hall to his sentence. Three other people have been charged in the case: Corey Walker, who was 19 at the time, and two unidentified assailants who were 15 and 17. The judge has barred the release of the minors’ names.
Pop Smoke was visiting Los Angeles in February 2020 when he posted a photo on Instagram of a gift bag he received, which inadvertently showed the address of where he was staying. The group of teens used that information to track down the “Dior” rapper. According to court testimony, the 15-year-old pistol-whipped the Brooklyn-bred MC and shot him three times in the back, then stole a Rolex watch that they sold for $2,000. The rhymer was rushed to the hospital but died from his injuries at the age of 20.
The defendant who pleaded guilty yesterday allegedly was responsible for scouting out the mansion and helping Walker find three other young people for the robbery. All the while, he maintained “constant communication” with Walker in their getaway car.
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