Troubled Rapper Sentenced For Conspiracy, Weapons Charges
Rapper Bobby Shmurda railed that he was forced into a plea deal Wednesday before a judge sentenced him to seven years for his role in a gang conspiracy.
“I wanna take my plea deal back!” Shmurda, who was born Ackquille Pollard, said at his sentencing hearing at Manhattan Supreme Court. “You (his attorney) forced me to take his plea. I didn’t want to take the plea!”
“Take it back,” Shmurda insisted. “I don’t want the plea.”
But Judge Abraham Clott said Shmurda never filed an official request to change his plea, and sentenced the rapper – whose “Shmoney Dance” became the hottest dance craze in years – to a total of seven years in prison for criminal possession of a weapon and gang conspiracy.
Last month, Shmurda, whose real name is Ackquille Pollard, agreed to the seven year plea deal, along with his codefendants Chad “Rowdy Rebel” Marshall and Alex McCoy. Another co-defendant, Santino Broderick, is taking his chances at trial. Shmurda admitted his role as the head of gang GS9, which terrorized Brooklyn with shootings and drug sales for nearly two years. But he said Wednesday that he took the deal under duress, and wanted to withdraw it.
“I was forced to take this sentence,” Shmurda said. “I do not want to take this sentence.”
But Prosecutor Nigel Farina said the plea deal was done properly, and the judge agreed. The judge also denied Shmurda’s lawyer Alex Spiro’s request for a three week delay so he could respond to the prosecution bringing up an article where Shmurda expressed his frustration at his case and the justice system.
Outside court, his mother, Leslie Pollard, said she was “heartbroken” by the sentencing and launched a blistering attack on the judge and Shmurda’s lawyer, who she said she’d paid $105,000 and had convinced her to reject a previous deal of four years.
“It’s heartbreaking. It’s disappointing,” Pollard, a restaurateur said. “The only thing I can do is pray that God will help us through the time that he has to do.”
Pollard, 42, of East Flatbush, said she was out of town when Bobby was “threatened” into taking the deal, and she said she had no idea what went down until it was too late. She said the guards at New York City’s Rikers Island jail have been targeting Shmurda, not letting him get time out on the yard, denying him haircuts and pepper spraying him for minor infractions.
Nevertheless, the mom said she was confident that her son will be back on top once he was released.
“If you know Bobby Shmurda, and you kept up with Bobby Shmurda, then you know all he’s accomplished in only four months,” Pollard said. “And you know he’s gonna get back on his feet when he gets out.”
Jennifer H. Cunningham