NBA YoungBoy trial pushed back to August
The federal gun trial involving Kentrell Gaulden, better known as multi-platinum rapper NBA YoungBoy, has been pushed back two months, a newly-filed court order shows. The proceedings are slated to be scheduled on or after August 9, 2021.
The 21-year-old rapper known for hits like “Untouchable” and “Genie” is accused of possessing two firearms as a felon, one of which is charged as being unregistered to him. Authorities also allege that the guns had been transported through interstate and foreign commerce, which could land him up to a decade in federal prison. Also charged in the case is Morrow D. Battie, facing the same charges.
The Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, Shelly D. Dick, granted an unopposed motion filed by Gaulden’s legal team, a group of 4 including celebrity lawyer Drew Findling, who previously represented superstars such as Gucci Mane and Offset. Also representing Gaulden is Andre Belanger, James Phillip Manasseh, and Ian Francis Hipwell, of Mannaseh, Gill, Knipe & Belanger.
The rap star’s lawyers had asked the court to grant them 90 days to investigate several USB drives of evidence submitted by the federal government containing body-camera, bystander, and home security footage from September 28, 2020, the date of Gaulden’s initial arrest in Baton Rouge. He was one of 16 booked on drugs and weapons charges at a video shoot following reports of people brandishing guns in an abandoned lot in Mid City North, Baton Rouge.
In March of this year, Gaulden was taken into custody by FBI agents in Los Angeles after a traffic stop involving a federal warrant for his alleged gun possession stemming from the incident in September.
The rapper allegedly got out of the car and evaded federal agents on foot, resulting in a perimeter being set up and a K-9 eventually tracking YoungBoy down.
He’s currently held at the St. Martin Parish Correctional Center in St. Martinville, Louisiana. Within custody, the rapper has penned numerous letters from jail, one confirming a baby on the way with his current girlfriend, Jazlyn Michelle. He’s also asked fans to allow him space to “suffer in peace.”
“I can leave my kids millions of dollars to divide but can’t give them the time they truly deserve,” he wrote in one letter, making spelling mistakes. “Nobody understand[s] me[,] they never did shit[.] [S]ometimes I don’t understand myself, but that’s fine because [I’m] okay[,] [I] aint looking for you to feel sorry[.] [I] just ask for one thing — for you to let me suffer in peace.”
Gaulden’s lawyer, James Manasseh, said in a statement that his client is “not guilty of any crimes” and believes he will be found innocent.
The weapons case isn’t the first time the rapper has been in hot water with federal law enforcement. In 2016, US Marshals arrested him outside of a concert in Texas for allegedly opening fire on a group of people on a street in South Baton Rouge. Gaulden ended up pleading guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated assault with a firearm and was sentenced to a suspended prison term and probation.
The federal government, in the gun case, is represented by three DOJ lawyers including Damare Theriot, Ken Kaplan, and William Kyle Morris. Gaulden’s co-defendant is represented by criminal defense attorney John Lane Ewing Jr, and Richard M. Upton of the Baton Rouge Federal Public Defender’s Office.