Hip-hop podcast host charged in fatal concert venue shooting

AP News
|
Posted: Jan 17, 2017 7:35 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A hip-hop podcast host arrested in connection with a concert venue shooting that left a rapper's bodyguard dead and three other people wounded is a killer and a danger to the community unworthy of bail, a prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Daryl Campbell, also known as Taxstone, was arrested Monday on a federal weapons possession charge stemming from the May shooting at Irving Plaza in Manhattan just before rapper T.I. was to perform.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hagan Scotten urged Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck to deny Campbell bail, saying evidence was overwhelming that he fired the fatal shot that killed Ronald McPhatter, a bodyguard for Brooklyn rapper Roland Collins, who performs as Troy Ave.

The judge, saying he was "taking a chance," granted $500,000 bail but required electronic monitoring. Campbell, who must post $350,000 in cash or property and identify five people to pledge to support the bail, was not immediately released.

Outside court, defense attorney Kenneth Montgomery said the claim Campbell fired the fatal shot was "not the truth." He called Campbell a "smart, well-balanced person."

In court, Montgomery said someone else was seen on video firing the gun and the gun was recovered from that person's vehicle with two other weapons.

Collins' bodyguard was killed by a gunshot fired at his chest at close range, authorities said. Collins and two bystanders were injured.

Scotten, the prosecutor, argued that DNA likely to belong to Campbell was found on the trigger, hand grip and magazine of a 9mm semi-automatic handgun used in the shooting. A criminal complaint said DNA belonging to Collins and McPhatter also was found on the gun.

Campbell, host of the popular podcast Tax Season, was feuding with Collins at the time, authorities said.

Surveillance video shows that when the men emerged from a room after the shooting, Collins, who had been shot in the legs, held the handgun, aimed it in the direction in which Campbell fled and fired a shot, according to a criminal complaint.

Collins previously pleaded not guilty to an attempted-murder charge. His attorney said he didn't shoot McPhatter.

Scotten said there was concern for the safety of witnesses in the case, and he noted that many potential witnesses were unwilling to speak with law enforcement officers. He also said Campbell had been arrested 20 times, with two felony convictions, and court papers claimed Campbell had publicly stated his membership in the Bloods street gang and his willingness to use violence and firearms.

Montgomery said his client was "no angel" but had left his criminal history from many years ago behind and "walked down the path of redemption" with his podcast and interviews.