NBA Youngboy caught a lucky break in his case for attempted murder charges. A judge suspended the Baton Rouge rapper’s 10-year prison term and placed him on three years of active supervised probation Tuesday for his role in a November 2016 drive-by shooting, the New Orleans Advocate reports.
Youngboy, 17, apologized for his role in the shooting that left a friend with a gunshot wound to his neck.
Youngboy, born Kentrell Gaulden, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated assault with a firearm three months ago after confessing to firing a gun multiple times during the November 2, 2016 drive-by shooting. Youngboy’s plea allowed him to bond out on $50,000 in May.
The “38 Baby” rapper was initially facing two counts of attempted second-degree murder.
Youngboy could’ve faced a fine up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment up to 10 years, according Louisiana Law.
Youngboy has District Judge Bonnie Jackson to thank for the leniency of his punishment. Jackson had a stern talk with Youngboy during Tuesday’s sentencing.
“I wasn’t very happy with the circumstances of your case, not at all,” Jackson told Youngboy, according to The Advocate.
Youngboy replied, “I take full responsibility for what happened. I’m sorry. It wasn’t supposed to go that way.”
Jackson told Youngboy he “went looking for trouble and found it.” The judge said the rapper is lucky he didn’t end up facing a second-degree murder charge.
“Fortunately, you all were bad shots,” she said.
Jackson told Youngboy she didn’t care about his career as a rapper, saying his genre of music “normalized violence.”
“Your genre has a lot to do with the mindset people have,” she said.
Jackson noted that Youngboy now lives in New Orleans.
“You know how much killing is taking place in New Orleans,” she said. “Baton Rouge isn’t much better. That’s the environment we’re living in.”
Meek Mill suggested Youngboy leave Baton Rouge upon his release from jail. The
Youngboy posted footage of himself in a FaceTime call with the Philly emcee.
“You gotta move or you gon die!” Meek said.
Youngboy told Jackson he didn’t kill anyone.
“But you could have,” the judge shot back. “It wasn’t for lack of trying. You weren’t a good shot.”
Jackson told Youngboy with talent comes responsibility because people listen to him.
Youngboy’s attorney, James Manasseh, told the Jackson the rapper is trying to make a difference by providing school supplies for children. He also bought a home for his mother.
“I genuinely find him to be a good-hearted, kind, sweet young man,” Manasseh said.
Jackson frowned upon Youngboy when he told her has three children at age 17, saying it wasn’t a “badge of honor” to have kids with different women.
“It’s only two women,” Youngboy said. “I promise to do right. I’m committed to my family.”
Jackson told Youngboy she sees “value” in him, adding, “I don’t judge you for being a rapper.”
She told Youngboy he has an “obligation” to his audience, adding, “There’s just too much killing.”
Jackson ordered Youngboy to perform 250 hours of community service, which could include an anti-violence public service announcement. He was also fined $5,000.
Jackson ended the sentencing with a final warning to Youngboy, saying, “Failure is not an option.”
The drive-by shooting Youngboy was involved in left one friend with a gunshot wound in the neck, WAFB reports. Youngboy was charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder.
Youngboy was one of three passengers in the vehicle.
A passenger was reportedly shot in the neck during incident. He was left in the vehicle after the vehicle he was in caught a flat tire and crashed. He was transported to a local hospital and has since been released. He had charges filed against him as well
Derrick Guice, the accused 20-year-old driver of the vehicle, was also charged with second-degree murder.
The shooting is believed to be in retaliation for the shooting death of 18-year-old Keondrae Ricks that occurred less than eight hours before the drive-by shooting incident.
NBA Youngboy was arrested in late November during a performance in Austin, Texas on a felony warrant after his concert was raided. He was booked in Travis County jail on Monday, Nov. 28 on an “undetermined,” out of state felony. He was held without bond.
Youngboy was extradited from Austin to Baton Rouge following his arrest.
A rep from East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, where Youngboy is currently being held, told The Fader he was being held on $200,000 for attempted murder.
The Fader reports Louisiana is one of nine states in the U.S. where 17 year olds can be tried as adults. If convicted of attempted murder, Youngboy could’ve faced life in prison without possibility of parole.