Jailed rapper Pooh Shiesty told a federal judge Thursday he intends to take a deal from prosecutors and plead guilty in his Florida case involving allegations he shot a man in the buttocks during a hotel confrontation last year.
His lawyer confirmed the development to Rolling Stone after a docket entry said Shiesty, whose legal name is Lontrell Williams, and co-defendant Bobby Brown appeared at a five-minute hearing Thursday and told U. S. District Judge K. Michael Moore that “they both wish to change their plea from not guilty to guilty.”
“We’ve entered into plea negotiations because there have been developments in the case that I think changed the dynamics of the case,” defense lawyer Bradford Cohen told Rolling Stone, declining to elaborate.
The alleged victim shot in the buttocks, identified by the Miami Herald as 28-year-old Brandon Cooper, was recently indicted and arrested in Florida on suspicion of taking part in an elaborate bank-fraud scheme, the newspaper reported.
Williams’ planned guilty plea means the jury trial in the case that was due to start Monday has been taken off the court’s calendar, according to a paperless order posted Thursday. A formal change of plea hearing for Williams and Brown, his road manager, was not immediately set.
Williams, a 21-year-old Memphis rapper whose Back in Blood collaboration with Lil Durk went platinum in May, has been in jail since early July. He previously pleaded not guilty to a four-count federal indictment carrying a possible maximum sentence of life in prison.
Prosecutors claim Williams, Brown, 21, and a third co-defendant named Jayden Darosa, 21, robbed and shot two victims during a meeting at the Landon Hotel in Bay Harbor Islands on October 9th, 2020.
According to court filings, Williams allegedly drove a rented McLaren to the hotel to “purchase a pair of high-end athletic sneakers and marijuana” and also was “hoping to negotiate an extension of his vehicle rental as part of the transaction.” Video surveillance allegedly shows Williams pulling up to the hotel with Brown riding shotgun and Darosa behind the wheel of a black Mercedes Maybach.
One man approached Williams and handed him a bag of marijuana while a second man handed Williams a shopping bag, an FBI affidavit states. Williams allegedly pulled a pair of sneakers out of the shopping bag and started examining them while the second man walked around and climbed into the passenger seat vacated by Brown. As the second man held one of the sneakers in his hand, Williams “pointed a Draco subcompact weapon at him and demanded that he leave the sneakers in the car,” according to the affidavit.
Darosa allegedly exited the Maybach at that point, approached the second man and attempted to rob him of jewelry. When the man fought back, Williams allegedly shot the man in the buttocks, prosecutors claim. Moments later, Brown allegedly shot the first man in the hip, causing him to fall to the ground, the affidavit reads.
As Williams drove off, a Louis Vuitton bag stuffed with $40,912 in cash fell out of the driver’s seat of the McLaren, authorities claim. Investigators linked the cash to Williams by matching the full serial number on one of the recovered bills to a $100 bill flashed on Williams’ Instagram account days before the alleged robbery, officials say.
Williams and his lawyers challenged his indictment in a flurry of filings ahead of the Thursday bombshell. A source close to Williams previously told Rolling Stone one of the alleged victims was trying to “push” other drugs on the rapper unsolicited. Williams also claims the two alleged victims were armed during the incident, according to court filings.
The most serious count in Williams’ indictment, discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, carried the possible life sentence upon conviction.