Grammy-nominated rapper Remy Ma was sentenced to eight years in prison today by a Manhattan Supreme Court judge for shooting her friend Makeda Barnes-Joseph after the two argued over money after leaving a party.
Supporters of the rapper (real name, Remy Smith) were present outside the court room adorned in red and white T-shirts bearing the words “Free Remy” across the front. After the verdict was announced a number of family and friends of the rapper exited the court room in tears. An associate of Smith’s exited the courtroom and upon seeing what appeared to be friends of Barnes-Joseph spit in their direction.
“I’m not a thug,” Remy Ma told Judge Rena Uviller, asking for mercy in her sentencing. “I’m not a hardcore anything, I have feelings. I’m a wife, mother, daughter, a big sister.”
Prosecutors lobbied for a 13-year sentence, but the judge settled on eight. Remy Ma’s camp insisted on five years, but both her attorney and management said they were happy with the judge’s leniency. Her lawyer, Ivan Fisher, said he intends to appeal the sentencing.
In March a judge found Remy Ma guilty on multiple counts of assault and weapons possession. She also had been charged with witness tampering and gang intimidation after an incident occurred in the Bronx where Barnes-Joseph’s boyfriend was attacked. A judge later threw the charges out.
Papoose, the rapper’s fiance, held a stoic look on his face as he left the courtroom.
The day before he was involved in an incident at Riker’s Island when he visited Remy Ma.
The pair were scheduled to marry but prison officials denied Papoose after they thought an item of his was a skeleton key. Papoose’s mother denied the charge. Pap later got into an argument with court officers outside of the court room and had to be escorted out.
The rapper later gathered his composure outside the courthouse and addressed the media, telling them money motivated the decision.
“Fuck jail,” he yelled as his friends pulled him away during the melee. “Fuck jail, lock me up. I don’t care, y’all just want money. She didn’t’ do nothing.”
Initially, Smith vehemently denied the shooting. The rapper claimed she did not have a gun, nor did she fire the shots that struck Barnes-Joseph in the stomach.
Barnes-Joseph was hospitalized for her injuries and media swarmed Remy Ma’s New Jersey home questioning the rapper. In July of last year, she shouted her innocence to reporters from the second-floor window of her house. “I didn’t shoot my friend,” she said.
In March of this year, however, her attorney, Ivan Fisher, finally admitted the rapper’s role in the shooting during the case’s closing arguments.
Fisher called the action a mistake. According to the Associated Press, Fisher, at the time, explained the gun went off after the two women were struggling over the weapon and the firearm accidentally discharged.
An assistant district attorney in the case, Michael McIntosh, pressed that the rapper took every premeditated step to carry out her plan, from loading the weapon to entering the victim’s car brandishing the gun. “She took every step you had to take to shoot somebody,” McIntosh said during closing arguments.
Barnes-Joseph filed a multi-million dollar civil suit against Remy Ma in December. She later withdrew the lawsuit, but still has the option to re-file the suit. The rapper’s attorney could not be reached for an additional comment by XXLMag.com as of press time.—Jayson Rodriguez