Rapper Bobby Shmurda, born Ackquille Jean Pollard, and two co-defendants, Chad "Rowdy Rebel" Marshall and Nicholas McCoy, have accepted a plea deal from the prosecution in a New York State Supreme Court hearing today (Sept. 9), agreeing to serve seven years in prison rather than risk trial, which had been scheduled to begin jury selection Monday (Sept. 12).
Shortly after 12:45 p.m. this afternoon, Shmurda, dressed in a white t-shirt and orange pants, entered the courtroom alongside his co-defendants almost 21 months since he and several others were arrested at Manhattan's Quad Studios on the night of Dec. 17, 2014. With the long-delayed beginning of the trial looming, special prosecutor Nigel Farina offered a "global plea deal" to the four defendants -- Marshall, McCoy, Shmurda and Santino Boderick -- with the bargain contingent on all four accepting the deal. Marshall, McCoy and Shmurda were all offered sentences of seven years to plead guilty to 4th-degree conspiracy (to criminally posses a weapon in the second degree), which carries a sentence of 1-3 years, and 2nd-degree criminal weapons possession, which carries a sentence of 7 years. Boderick, however, was facing an additional charge of attempted assault, meaning his offer was for a minimum of 15 years.
After Farina read the offer to the court, Shmurda's attorney Alex Spiro asked justice Abraham Clott for a moment to allow each defense attorney the chance to speak with the defendants. After a tense 20 minutes, Clott reconvened the Court and asked each defendant in turn if they would accept the deal. First Marshall, the McCoy, answered that they would accept if each of their fellow defendants did as well. When Clott got to Shmurda, he replied, "It is my understanding my co-defendant is not interested." When Clott asked again whether he would accept the deal, Shmurda replied that he would if his fellow defendants did the same. Boderick, however, rejected the deal, essentially rejecting the plea for all four.