The 20-year-old, whose name has been withheld as he was 17 at the time of Pop Smoke’s murder, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and home invasion robbery in an Inglewood, California, courtroom.
The defendant admitted to entering the rented Hollywood Hills mansion intending to rob Pop Smoke, who was killed in the struggle with him and three other assailants. According to The Los Angeles Times, the defendant was not allowed to include the two years and eight months he spent at a juvenile detention center since his arrest. Instead, he was sentenced to four years and two months in a regional juvenile treatment facility. Judge J. Christopher Smith warned the defendant could remain in juvenile custody until age 25.
On Feb. 19, 2020, the 20-year-old rapper Bashar Barakah Jackson, known as Pop Smoke, was murdered at the Airbnb he was staying at while on a four-day trip to Los Angeles. According to court testimony, the Brooklyn native was in the shower when masked men confronted him. Prosecutors claim the four burglars pistol-whipped him, and the alleged shooter, 15 at the time, eventually shot him in the back three times during a struggle.
The defendant, who remains nameless by order of the judge, alongside Corey Walker, then 19, Keandre Rodgers, then 18, and a fourth individual, not identified as he was a minor at the time, were charged in July 2020 by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The DA announced the accused would be charged with murder with the special circumstance of having taken place during a robbery and burglary, Complex reported.
According to the authorities, the robbers got the “Dior” rapper’s address from a photo he posted on social media of a gift bag he received, which revealed the address on a label. In 2021, LAPD detective Carlos Camacho testified the motive behind the attack was to steal cash, a thick gold chain and a diamond-studded Rolex watch, which the assailants also spotted on social media. They later sold the watch for $2,000.
In 2018, Pop Smoke emerged on the rap scene with the breakout gangsta anthem, “Welcome to the Party,” which bragged about shootings, murder and drugs. Nicki Minaj even dropped a verse on the remix. His other hits include “What You Know Bout Love” and “For The Night (ft. Lil Baby & DaBaby).” His album, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, was released posthumously on what would have been Jackson’s 21st birthday. “Faith” was a follow-up commemorative song released in July 2021.
Per a report from Rolling Stone, the remaining three defendants are scheduled to appear in a pretrial hearing in a Los Angeles courtroom on May 5.