Remy Ma convicted of assault
EmptyNEW YORK -- Grammy-nominated rapper Remy Ma was led out of a Manhattan courtroom Thursday, weeping and in handcuffs, after being convicted of shooting a woman outside a nightclub last summer.
The defense had conceded that Remy Ma, whose real name is Remy Smith, fired a shot toward a friend she suspected of stealing $3,000, but said it was an accident.
Smith, 26, faces up to 25 years in prison following her conviction in state Supreme Court for assault, weapon possession and attempted coercion.
She was nominated for a Grammy as part of the Terror Squad for the 2004 hit "Lean Back." She also has appeared on recordings with Busta Rhymes and Eminem.
Smith quietly wiped away tears as the verdict was read, then wailed loudly and sobbed openly after she was outside the courtroom. Many of her supporters also cried.
A few supporters of Makeda Barnes Joseph, the woman who was shot, cheered and wept when they heard the verdict. Some chanted "bye, bye" in an almost taunting singsong as Smith left the courtroom.
Justice Rena Uviller, denying a request by defense lawyer Ivan Fisher, ordered Smith jailed without bail while awaiting sentencing on April 23.
She was acquitted of witness tampering and gang assault, charges related to a nightclub attack in the New York City borough of the Bronx on the boyfriend of a witness who ultimately testified against her. A man who tried to help the boyfriend also was beaten.
Joseph was shot after a party at a nightclub in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood on July 14, 2007.
Assistant District Attorney Michael McIntosh said the defendant "took an illegal .45-caliber automatic and loaded it with hollow-point bullets," then used both hands to cock the weapon as she got into the car. "She took every step you had to take to shoot somebody," the prosecutor said.
The rapper demanded that Joseph dump the contents of her purse; Joseph denied she had taken the rapper's money and refused. Fisher said the gun went off accidentally as the women struggled over the bag.
Joseph, who was shot in the abdomen, testified that she underwent three operations during a three-week hospital stay.
"Remy's taking this very, very hard," Fisher said after the verdict. "She didn't anticipate this."
Fisher said he plans to appeal.