NBA Young Boy was found not guilty at his felony gun trial in federal court in Los Angeles on Friday.
via Rolling Stone:
The popular and prolific rapper, born Kentrell Gaulden, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Authorities recovered an FN FNX .45 caliber pistol from the floor of his Mercedes Maybach when he was arrested in Los Angeles on March 22, 2021, based on a felony gun possession warrant out of Louisiana.
Gaulden, 22, fought the charge by arguing he didn’t know the gun was in the car and had no intent to possess it. His lawyer said in a closing argument Thursday that other people had access to the luxury vehicle, that prosecutors failed to link his client to the gun with DNA or fingerprint evidence, and that no witnesses ever testified they saw Gaulden with the recovered weapon that day.
Federal prosecutors said Gaulden showed his guilt when he fled his surprise arrest and hid in a backyard. They also said the FNX-45 recovered from Gaulden’s Maybach was purchased in December 2020 by Joel Diggs, a man whose brother, Joseph Diggs, is the partner of Demetrice Monique Coleman, a beloved godmother figure in Gaulden’s life.
The defense said prosecutors never proved that Joel or Joseph Diggs was not present at a gathering of Gaulden’s friends at the Beverly Hilton Hotel days earlier. A key card and parking receipt from the hotel were found in the Maybach.
Lead defense lawyer James Manasseh also argued that images of Gaulden holding what looked like an FNX-45 outside Coleman’s house in Baton Rouge and then at Shyne Jewelers in Philadelphia in the months leading up to his California arrest were “not relevant” because prosecutors failed to definitively match the images to the gun recovered from the Maybach. The defense previously argued that one of the Instagram images showing Gaulden outside Coleman’s house included the hashtag “#propgun.” When an ATF agent testified Thursday, defense lawyer André Bélanger confronted him with side-by-side photos showing a real FNX-45 and a Tokyo Marui Airsoft FNX-45 replica gun. The firearms appeared nearly identical.
ATF Special Agent Kevin Allred said he didn’t believe the gun in the photo from Shyne was an Airsoft because it appeared to lack distinctive “stainless steel markings” identifying the manufacturer — but he conceded the Airsoft pellet gun looked so real that he would feel justified using “lethal force” if it was “pulled out” by a suspect.
Gaulden stipulated at the trial that he knew he was a felon when he was driving his Maybach in the Tarzana neighborhood of Los Angeles the day of his arrest. The jury did not hear any details of his underlying conviction, which stemmed from a 2016 incident in which he discharged a weapon near people on a Baton Rouge street when he was 17 years old. Louisiana law allowed prosecutors to charge him as an adult. He was convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm.
He was given a suspended 10-year prison sentence and three years of probation that was terminated after a judge ruled he completed its terms.
Gaulden also has a parallel, still-pending gun case in Louisiana linked to an arrest near his grandfather’s Baton Rouge home on Sept. 28, 2020. The federal judge on that case recently upheld a decision throwing out video evidence in the case because it was obtained with a faulty search warrant.
We bet he’s beyond happy.