YoungBoy Never Broke Again, one of the most popular and prolific rap artists on the planet, scored another pretrial victory in his Louisiana firearms case on Friday when a federal judge ruled that A cache of home videos seized at the time of his arrest nearly two years ago will remain inaccessible to prosecutors due to an improper search warrant.
Federal prosecutors had filed a motion asking U.S. District Court Chief Judge Shelly Dick to “reconsider” and reverse her Feb. 24 decision removing the video. They argued that some of the disputed footage should be shown to jurors at YoungBoy’s next trial, which is scheduled to begin on July 11, “to avoid a miscarriage of justice.” Judge Dick closed them in her three-page decision obtained by rolling stone.
“The government does not explain how a miscarriage of justice will occur if the court does not grant its request. Instead, the government is simply offering two additional arguments in support of its initial objection. But the time to raise these arguments has passed,” Justice Dick wrote.
The judge said federal prosecutors had ample opportunity to raise their new arguments before issuing her ruling, including during a three-day evidence hearing in October. Now under pretrial house arrest after his release from prison in October, Gaulden pleaded not guilty to charges that he was a felon in possession of unregistered firearms.
In briefs related to the October hearing, prosecutors focused on defending the legitimacy of the search warrant that allegedly revealed video on an SD memory card showing YoungBoy in possession of one or more firearms. shortly before his grandfather’s arrest near Baton Rouge. home on September 28, 2020.
After the judge’s Feb. 24 ruling, prosecutors changed tack and claimed for the first time that the rapper, whose legal name is Kentrell Gaulden, actually lacked enough standing to even challenge the admissibility of the videos first. They claimed that Gaulden had no Fourth Amendment ownership interest in the videos, as they were commissioned by a limited liability company named Big38Enterprise. They also argued that he had no interest in protecting Fourth Amendment privacy because the videos they intended to offer at trial depicted “conduct he knowingly exposed to the public in the streets of Baton Rouge”.
“The compelling evidence of Gaulden’s brazen criminal activity should not be excluded from the trial because Gaulden’s personal rights were not violated by the searches and seizures at issue. The onus was on Gaulden to prove he was on his feet, and he failed to do so. The video evidence should therefore be admitted at trial,” prosecutors wrote in their March motion.
Gaulden’s attorneys responded in an April filing that Big38Enterprise is not just Gaulden’s personal LLC, but he’s the only person authorized to transfer money on his behalf — and they said few whatever was on the SD card.
“The fact that the illegally searched card turns out to contain video, some of which the government says shows criminal activity (although the criminality of that activity is precisely what is disputed), cannot retroactively justify a seriously illegal search. and unconstitutional. If it did, we would no longer have a Fourth Amendment,” Gaulden’s defense attorneys wrote.
“The court addressed standing at length in its previous decision, and the government fails to demonstrate that the court made a manifest error of law or fact,” Judge Dick wrote in her Friday ruling.
In her underlying decision handed down four months ago, Judge Dick said the warrant used to seize the video “was not valid on its face” because the Baton Rouge police officer who had it writing contained ‘misleading information’ – namely a statement claiming that a ‘reliable witness’ had told police that a group of people were brandishing guns and filming a rap video outside Gaulden’s grandfather’s house September 28, 2020.
In fact, the allegation about the “rap video” was relayed to a senior officer on September 27, 2020, by a so-called “reliable source”, while the allegation about people wielding guns came from an anonymous 911 call a day later. , said the judge.
“The whole truth would have included that the rap video tip arrived on September 27 – not September 28 – which would have negated probable cause to search SD cards and camera for evidence of who owned weapons fire or narcotics on September 28,” Judge Dick wrote in his decision.
Gaulden, 22, has released more than two dozen mixtapes, studio albums and EPs since 2015. His 2019 mixtape AI YoungBoy2 and his studio album 2021 Sincerely, Kentrell both debuted at number one on the US Billboard chart. His hit of 2018 precious pain was certified triple platinum last month.