Additional charges have been filed against rapper Busta Rhymes for criminal possession of a weapon, which carries a one-year jail sentence. The 34-year-old, born Trevor Smith, appeared at the Manhattan Criminal Court and remained silent as both sides filed motions yesterday.
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office is already pursuing assault and harassment charges dating back to August 12 for allegedly repeatedly punching and kicking fan Roberto Lebron, who was treated for concussion, a split lip and an injured wrist. Rhymes said he flew into a rage after he saw Lebron spitting on his car.
The hip-hop star was originally accused of felony assault and harassment charges, along with weapon possession after police searched Rhymes' vehicle and found a 10-inch machete. Rhymes' lawyer Scott Leemon insisted the knife was "a prop" and did not warrant a criminal charge.
During an October hearing, Manhattan Criminal Court judge Shawndya Simpson dropped the charges of possession of a weapon, but ordered the rapper to stand trial on assault and harassment charges.
Yesterday, however, the DA's Office, filed a misdemeanour charge of criminal possession of a weapon and the charges were reinstated.
Leemon has accused authorities of targeting Rhymes because of his silence over the unsolved murder of his 29-year-old bodyguard Israel Ramirez during a video shoot in February.
Rhymes' will next appear in court on February 20.