Judge Orders Four Trials For Busta Rhymes
Rapper Busta Rhymes, accused of attacking two men, driving drunk and driving with a suspended license, has rejected a plea deal and is now facing four separate trials.Rapper Busta Rhymes, accused of attacking two men, driving drunk and driving with a suspended license, has rejected a plea deal and is now facing four separate trials.
Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Larry Stephen denied a motion by the prosecution today (July 10) to consolidate two assault charges against Rhymes. The 35-year-old rapper is accused of beating a fan and also of beating and kicking a former employee last year.
"The two assault cases cannot be consolidated," said Rhymes' lawyer, Scott Leemon. "The decision today validated Busta's defenses to the assault cases. We detailed to the court that we have defense to these cases and the court agreed."
Assistant District Attorney Harrison Schweiloch hadn't moved to have the drunken driving and suspended license cases consolidated, so the judge allowed them to remain separate.
Rhymes again turned down Schweiloch's offer of a year in jail to cover all the cases. "It's the same offer" the prosecutor made at Rhymes' last court appearance, Leemon said, "and it's one which Busta adamantly rejects."
Rhymes, whose real name is Trevor Smith, was arrested in May -- the fourth time in less than a year -- on a drunken driving charge. At that time, he had been scheduled to go to trial on the two assault charges.
In one case, Rhymes is accused of beating and kicking his former driver during a Dec. 26 pay dispute outside Rhymes' lower Manhattan office. In the other, he is charged with assaulting a fan after an Aug. 12, 2006, performance at the AmsterJam Music Festival on Randall's Island.
While those charges were pending, Rhymes was jailed briefly in February after police said they stopped him for running a red light and discovered he was driving with a suspended license.
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