New Orleans Rapper Young City, formerly known as Chopper, attended a hearing yesterday (Aug. 18) in Baltimore County Circuit Court for armed robbery charges dating back to September of 2001.
Kevin Lamont Barnes, Jr., who gained widespread popularity as the young, rambunctious rapper known as Chopper on Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ MTV series Making The Band, faced prosecutors and a Baltimore County judge as he was read the charges.
Altogether, Barnes is facing seven counts against him, including two robbery with a dangerous weapon charges, two robbery in a general sense charges, two second degree assault charges and one theft charge.
Barnes’ attorney, Paul Gardner of Gardner Law Group, spoke about the prosecutions multiple charges against Barnes.
“Mr. Barnes was charged with two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, but that dangerous weapon was in fact a bb gun,” Gardner told AllHipHop.com. “I honestly feel like upon learning that, the prosecution thought ‘hey, we can get him on general robbery charges too.’ It’s really just ridiculous. This happened so long ago.”
On September 29, 2001, Barnes allegedly robbed two men at gunpoint in Baltimore, MD. He was summoned to court on May 15, 2002, facing robbery and assault charges, but failed to appear.
Barnes’ mother, Ms. Owens, spoke to the court in an attempt to explain the situation further.
“Kevin had bought a condo in Baltimore County, after we left New Orleans. Soon after, he went back down to New Orleans to stay with his father, which was the reason he didn’t appear in court. He never received the papers,” Owens said. “And since then, we’ve received no further notification of the case. I even went down to the bond building to ask about the charges and the court hearing. They couldn’t tell me anything.”
Prosecutors recommended Barnes’ bail be set at $250,000 dollars, labeling the rapper a flight risk, noting his previous failure to answer the charges and his traveling record.
Barnes’ bail was finally set at $75,000 dollars.
“With a violent felony and a [failure to appear] in Baltimore County, especially [for] a Black person, for him to get bail at all was great,’ Gardner said. “Chopper is really happy, because he didn’t think he was getting bail at all. The next step is getting his people to get the money together for his bail.”
“I just want to get home to my family, that’s all. This was five years ago, I just want to get out of here,” Barnes told Gardner.
Barnes was one of the thousands of people affected by Hurricane Katrina. Since then, he and his family have moved to Atlanta, GA, where Barnes has been spending time aiding the Red Cross in the rebuilding of New Orleans and working on several new projects.
Barnes is still being held at Baltimore County Detention Center until bail is posted. There has been no set date for trial.
Source: All Hip Hop