Byrd Gang leader Jim Jones appeared in court today (March 24) turning down a possible plea deal for the alleged assault towards an associate of R&B singer Ne-Yo.
The Harlem-bred rapper’s decision was made Tuesday in Manhattan Court, New York.
Jones has rejected a plea deal that would have required 10 days of community service for allegedly attacking a rival recording artist’s friend. Jones, 32, was charged with misdemeanor assault after a fight with Javon Smith inside a Louis Vuitton store on East 57th Street. Smith was with R&B singer-rapper Ne-Yo. Defense lawyer Scott Leemon called the case “a setup for a civil lawsuit” and payday for Javon Smith. Leemon says witnesses reported Jones did not start the fight and is innocent. (Associated Press)
He previously appeared in court last month pleading not guilty on the assault charge.
Jones pleaded not guilty on Wednesday (February 4). “I’m trying to stay away from this building,” quipped the “Pop Champagne” rapper as he emerged from Manhattan Criminal Court after being arraigned. He downplayed the misdemeanor assault charge stemming from the Dec. 22 fisticuffs with Jayvon Smith. “It’s what you call an expensive inconvenience,” said Jones, wrapping an arm around his lawyer, Scott Leemon. (New York Daily News)
Jones had publicly spoken on the alleged assault in various interviews.
“Ain’t nothin’ happen, like shout-outs to Ne-Yo, Jones said in an interview. “Nothing went on with Ne-Yo. I couldn’t do that man. That would be a little bit wrong to put my hands on Ne-Yo. He’s a talented young man. The ladies like him.” (Big Boy’s Neighborhood)
Rumors originally broke out late December claiming the outspoken rapper was involved in a violent scuffle with Def Jam artists.
“While the details are sketchy, my people tell me that a lot of the stories being posted are ‘grossly exaggerated.’ Apparently Ne-Yo and Ty-Ty‘s brother were shopping in the store when J. Jones approached the guys and started going off on Vaughn, who just so happens to bare a striking resemblance to his brother Ty-Ty.” (Gyant Scoop)