Artist News Legal

YoungBoy Never Broke Again found not guilty of illegal gun possession in LA

By | Published on Monday 18 July 2022

Youngboy Never Broke Again

YoungBoy Never Broke Again was found not guilty in the LA courts on Friday of possessing a firearm, in one of two criminal cases the rapper has been battling of late which could result in significant jail time due to a past conviction.

The case being heard in the LA courts related to an incident in March 2021, which in turn was linked to the other criminal proceedings he is facing, in which he is among sixteen people accused of possessing illegal guns and drugs at a video shoot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2020.

Police in LA were responding to an arrest warrant stemming from the Baton Rouge case when they found another gun in a vehicle being driven by the rapper, real name Kentrell Gaulden. He fled the scene after being chased by LA police, who then discovered the weapon in Gaulden’s abandoned vehicle.

Lawyers for the rapper argued that Gaulden, unaware of the arrest warrant in relation to the Baton Rouge case, was confused by the scale of the police operation in LA, which is why he fled the scene. Meanwhile, they added, he had no prior knowledge of the gun that was in his car, meaning that someone else must have placed it there.

With no fingerprints or DNA connecting Gaulden to the weapon, prosecutors presented images from social media that showed the rapper handling a similar gun. However, his legal reps said that the weapon in those images was identical to an airsoft replica and could not be confirmed as being the same gun police found in their client’s car.

The prosecution also wanted to present in court lyrics from three of the rapper’s tracks which, they said, proved he was familiar with the specific kind of gun they had located in his vehicle. However, the judge hearing the case declined to allow those lyrics to be presented as evidence.

That was an interesting decision given the mounting campaign to stop prosecutors in the US from using lyrics or videos created by defendants in criminal cases as evidence in court, on the basis that doing so is usually prejudicial to the defendant, rarely adds anything of substance to a case, and is a breach of the defendant’s free speech rights.

The jury considering the LA case against Gaulden ultimately concluded that the prosecution had not proven that the rapper was in possession of an illegal weapon on that day in March 2021.

Responding to the judgement, a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office in LA told reporters: “We believe the evidence presented in this case supported the charges [previously] brought by the grand jury. While we are disappointed with the verdict, we respect the jury’s decision”.

The criminal case in Louisiana is ongoing.