Bobby Shmurda’s trial is inching nearer to its Feb. 22 start date, but a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court today may have wide-ranging effects on what that trial will include.
Shmurda – aka Ackquille Pollard – entered the courtroom today, 390 days after his initial arrest, alongside five co-defendants, including fellow rapper Rowdy Rebel, in front of a new judge, Abraham Clott, who presided for the first time after taking over for Judge James Burke.
While not much was decided, Shmurda’s attorney Alex Spiro requested records from the Special Narcotics Prosecutors’ office indicating that two of the lead detectives on the case had “Credibility issues” that included accusations of planting evidence, false arrests and 4th Amendment violations over the past two years in other cases.
These same detectives, Spiro told the court, had been stopping and frisking Shmurda and some of his associates for months and years, releasing them after finding no contraband; Spiro requested copies of each stop and frisk report, saying that “That lack of evidence is itself evidence.”
He also highlighted the fact that prosecutors dismissed evidence included in the original indictment that alleged that Shmurda was found in possession of cocaine on Dec. 8, 2013; without that evidence, Spiro said in court, the drug conspiracy allegations against Shmurda rely on taped phone calls from Rikers Island between other people talking about Shmurda, rather than speaking to Shmurda himself.
“He’s a musical artist; a lot of people talk about him,” Spiro said, requesting all Rikers phone calls instead of just the ones the prosecution entered as evidence.
“We deal in facts, not unspecified accusations against unnamed parties,” Kati Cornell, a spokesperson for the Special Narcotics Prosecutors office, told Billboard after the hearing in regard to Spiro’s allegation.
With Judge Clott new to the case, little was decided in court today; instead, Shmurda’s case was adjourned for a week while the defense and prosecution attempt to resolve Spiro’s discovery applications.
Shmurda remains in jail on $2 million bond, with his trial still set to begin Feb. 22.