Tony Yayo Pleads Guilty to Harassment Charge
Fri, 15 Feb 2008 14:02:30
Tony Yayo agreed to a crucial plea deal yesterday, stemming from allegations that he slapped the teenage son of a business rival—Jimmy "Henchman" Rosemond, the co-founder of Czar Entertainment, which manages Yayo rival the Game—last year. According to a statement by his lawyer, Scott Leemon, the G-Unit rapper "is no longer facing any criminal charges relating to the incident that occurred last March." Those charges include misdemeanor assault, harassment, and endangering the welfare of a child. In exchange for 10 days of community service, Yayo (born Marvin Bernard) agreed to a lesser, noncriminal harassment charge.
According to an MTV News interview, Yayo associate Lowell "Lodi Mack" Fletcher told police he in fact hit Rosemond's 14 year old.
"As I told you from the beginning, Tony Yayo did not hit anyone and would never do anything to harm a child," Leemon wrote in his statement. "This fact was confirmed by Mr. Fletcher when he told members of the notorious hip-hop police in August that he did this on his own. The hip-hop police buried this helpful information, and the charges against Tony Yayo proceeded until today. Without a doubt, today's proceedings have validated Mr. Bernard's claims he was falsely accused. All that Tony Yayo admitted to doing was getting out of the car and glaring at the victim. Once he realized what Fletcher was doing, he went and grabbed Fletcher to pull him away from the victim."
Fletcher pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child and was sentenced to nine months in prison, a sentence he's serving alongside a narcotics charge.
"As much as Marvin Bernard tried to wiggle his way out of his role in assaulting my son, who is a minor, he had to accept responsibility to accept a plea deal," Cynthia Reed, the child's mother, said in a separate statement Thursday. "He couldn't hide behind 50 Cent, G-Unit, Violator Management or his co-defendant. This malicious crime against a child is despicable, and any industry sponsor or company that supports individuals like Tony Yayo should remove themselves from a relationship with him and his affiliated entities. Crimes against children should never be legitimized just because a person is an entertainer. A public apology is appropriate at this time, not only from Tony Yayo, but from 50 Cent for denying this event ever happened—as if my son was lying when all along they knew this assault had taken place."
—The ARTISTdirect Staff