AceShowbiz - Rapper Pop Smoke was shot and killed by a 15-year-old robber who targetted the rising star for his diamond-studded Rolex watch, a police detective has testified.
The "Welcome to the Party" hitmaker, real name Bashar Jackson, was murdered during a home invasion at his rented Hollywood Hills mansion in February 2020, and during a preliminary hearing for 20-year-old Corey Walker, the sole adult suspect in the case, detectives detailed how his death came about.
Testifying in court on Friday, May 7, Los Angeles Police Department Detective Carlos Camacho claimed the four defendants charged with murder and robbery had specifically gone after Pop Smoke for the jewellery they had spotted him wearing in social media posts.
He claimed the youngest of the suspects, a 15-year-old kid, was the one who snatched Pop's watch - which was later offloaded for just $2,000 (£1,400) - and sought to take his neck chain too. However, they became embroiled in "a confrontation" which resulted in the New York native's death.
Citing a recorded jail conversation the unidentified teen had with a cellmate last year (2020), Camacho told the court, "He admitted that he shot the victim three times with a Baretta nine [milimetre]... They got into a fight, and he shot him three times. He said he shot him on the back [sic]."
Camacho went on to claim that Walker had also made a similar confession about his role in the botched robbery in a separate jail chat with a different informant, reportedly sharing how the group wore ski masks and gloves, and used a police scanner to pull off the home invasion.
"He said that when the individuals got inside, the suspects confronted [Pop Smoke], who was in the shower naked," the detective stated.
The cop claimed the rapper initially complied with their demands to hand over his jewellery, but the MC then tried to fight back and "rushed" the suspects, who "pistol whipped" the star before the 15-year-old fired at him.
During the hearing, Walker's attorney, Christopher Darden, tried to have the murder charge dismissed, insisting his client, who has pleaded not guilty, simply served as the getaway driver on the fateful night, and didn't even enter the house, while also warning the younger members of the group not to shoot anyone.
"He's clearly not an aider and abettor of premeditated murder. At most, he's a principal in a robbery... He's a driver. He is outside," declared Darden.
Prosecutors pushed back by accusing Walker of scouting out the pad, knowing full well his co-defendants were planning to rob Pop at gunpoint, actions which showed a "reckless indifference to human life," reports the New York Daily News.
Judge H. Clay Jacke II shut down Darden's request for a reduction in charges, and declared there was "sufficient cause" to send Walker to trial.
His rearraignment is set to take place on June 3.