Today was the first hearing for Bobby Shmurda, Rowdy Rebel and the 13 other members of their GS9 gang since they were arrested during a drug sting operation in mid-December. According to XXL, Shmurda, Rebel and 13 the other GS9 members pleaded not guilty to the 69 charges brought against them, which ranged from drug distribution to conspiracy to commit murder. A full list of the charges is available here.
Shmurda, born Ackquille Pollard, has been in jail since the arrest. His bail was set at $2 million. In today’s three and a half hour hearing at Manhattan Supreme Court, the 20-year-old rapper’s lawyer called the bail amount “excessive.” Though lawyers repeatedly petitioned for reduced bail as each member plead guilty, Judge James Burke has denied requests until his final decisions in the case, which will come on 4/22. What seemed liked a recent positive sign for Shmurda — the dismissal of a gun charge from a Brooklyn incident in the summer of 2014 — was a procedural move so that case can be included in this much larger investigation.
Kenneth J. Montgomery has taken over from Howard Greenburg as Shmurda’s lawyer and will represent him during the remainder of the case. If Shmurda is convicted he will face up to 25 years in jail. Shmurda and Rebel are both Epic Records artists and although label execs were present at the trial, they have declined to comment on the matter.
UPDATE 2/4: The New York Times reports that Shmurda’s bail has been withdrawn. The $2 million bail was backed by the rapper’s “management associates” but has been put on hold. “We’re trying to do a new bond application and are in the process in the figuring that out,” Kenneth Montgomery, Shmurda’s lawyer, told the Times. “We’re hoping to get it done within the next week.”
[Photo By Bennett Raglin/BET.]