A federal judge in New York blocked the deportation of Ricky "Slick Rick" Walters on Friday (Dec. 27), giving the rapper fresh hope of winning his battle to stay in the U.S. Judge Kimba Wood's decisio

A federal judge in New York blocked the deportation of Ricky "Slick Rick" Walters on Friday (Dec. 27), giving the rapper fresh hope of winning his battle to stay in the U.S. Judge Kimba Wood's decision allows Walters, 37, to fight a deportation order stemming from his attempted murder conviction for shooting a cousin, the cousin's pregnant girlfriend, and a bystander.

The shooting occurred in 1990, a year after Walters' Def Jam solo debut album, "The Great Adventures of Slick Rick," went platinum. He pleaded guilty and spent five years in a New York prison.

Alex Solomiany, Walters' lawyer, said he was happy Wood agreed to block the deportation, which had been expected to take place Saturday. Solomiany said the judge found there was a substantial possibility that Walters could show he should not be deported. An immigration judge earlier decided that Walters should be allowed to stay because he had rehabilitated himself.

Under Wood's order, Walters will remain in the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Bradenton, Fla. The rapper has lived in the U.S. since he was 11, but had been prepared to move to England, his birthplace. In June, INS agents enforcing a U.S. law requiring deportation of foreigners convicted of violent felonies arrested him aboard a cruise ship. He has been jailed ever since.

"This is a good start," Solomiany said. Prosecutors did not immediately return a call seeking comment.


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