Bobby Shmurda was sentenced to seven years in prison on Wednesday, despite the rapper's attempts to persuade a judge to overturn his previously arranged plea deal. "I want to withdraw my plea," Shmurda said during his sentencing in a Manhattan courtroom, according to NBC New York. "I was forced by my attorney to take the plea. I was forced."
New York state court Justice Abraham Clott denied Shmurda's request, enforcing the seven-year term agreed upon in September. In that original plea deal, established nearly two years since his arrest, the rapper pleaded guilty to 4th-degree conspiracy to criminally possess a weapon and 2nd-degree criminal weapons possession, Billboard reports.
Shmurda was arrested in December 2014 outside Manhattan's Quad Recording Studios. The rapper was accused of leading Crips-offshoot street gang GS9, which police said was responsible for several shootings and one murder. Fourteen others, including the rapper's brother Jayese, were arrested that month.
The deal arrived days before the 22-year-old "Hot Nigga" rapper was set to stand trial for multiple crimes stemming from a massive, multi-person indictment alleging that the Brooklyn performer (born Ackquille Pollard) was the ringleader of Crips offshoot GS9.
According to NY Daily News, Shmurda claimed in court Wednesday that he was forced to accept the plea deal. "I want to drop my plea and fire you," he reportedly told his lawyer, Alex Spiro. "Why are you telling me to waive my rights? I am not waiving my rights."
When he was first arrested, the rapper's bail was set at $2 million. His label, Epic Records, drew widespread criticism for their decision not to bail him out. "I'm crazy about that kid [Shmurda] and I think about him often," label CEO L.A. Reid told the Rap Radar podcast, blaming inaction on the music industry's dismal financial state.
"When I got locked up, I thought they were going to come for me, but they never came," Shmurda told The New York Times.