Man Charged With Murdering Pop Smoke Says He Told Shooter to Use ‘Flower Vase’ Not Gun
The sole adult suspect charged with murdering Pop Smoke in a home-invasion robbery was so upset one of his co-defendants opened fire on the rising rapper that he “assaulted” the 15-year-old alleged gunman afterward, his lawyer claims in a new court filing obtained by Rolling Stone.
Corey Walker, 20, was back in a Los Angeles courtroom Friday as his defense lawyer, Christopher Darden, filed a motion to dismiss his murder and robbery charges with the argument that Walker specifically voiced his opposition to any violence before Pop Smoke was fatally shot inside his rented Hollywood Hills home on February 19, 2020.
“It is clear from the evidence that [Walker] did not enter the house, was not armed, and did not personally kill the victim. Moreover, the evidence is clear that the defendant did not share the actual killer’s intent to kill,” Darden wrote in the filing.
He said his client “did not plan this crime” and in the “worst case scenario” was only the driver who “remained outside seated in the driver’s seat” of a vehicle that belonged to him and his grandmother.
“The defendant was aware that a weapon was being used,” Darden wrote, but “he was careful to insist that his weapon” not be fired.
Walker allegedly insisted that “if it became necessary for the suspects to defend themselves, they should use a flower vase rather than shoot someone,” Darden wrote.
“It was only after the robbers exited the house and reentered the vehicle that [Walker] learned of the shooting. In response, [Walker] assaulted the shooter,” he argued.
The judge set a hearing on the new motion for December 3rd. Walker’s estimated four-week trial is expected to begin within 90 days of that date, barring a possible plea deal or other delays.
Prosecutors say Walker and four others arrived at Pop Smoke’s Airbnb rental shortly after 4 a.m. the day of the slaying in search of a stack of cash, a thick gold chain, and diamond-studded watch the Dior rapper had flashed on social media. Four of the five allegedly entered the home, and three of those have been charged as minors in the case.
Born Bashar Jackson, Pop Smoke was taking a shower when his masked assailants “rushed” into his upstairs bedroom and confronted him, prosecutors claim. He was gunned down by a suspect who was just 15 years old at the time following a struggle, according to testimony from LAPD witnesses at a preliminary hearing in May.
One detective testified a Google account linked to Walker researched the rental home before the slaying and then searched “Rolex oyster perpetual datejust” at 5:15 a.m., less than an hour after the first 911 call was made.
Darden further argued in his new motion that the firearm used to shoot Pop Smoke did not belong to Walker. “[Walker] was only aware of one weapon. There is nothing in the record to indicate this defendant knew that more than one weapon was going to be taken inside the house. And there is nothing to indicate that the weapon used in the killing was the heat this defendant provided to a suspect,” Darden wrote.
After the hearing Friday, Darden said settlement talks with prosecutors were ongoing.
“We’re just beginning. We’re nowhere near close,” he told Rolling Stone. “God willing, we will perhaps have a resolution soon. We all realize my client didn’t kill anybody.”