Former Da Band member Chopper is currently jailed in a Georgia
detention center and may be facing jail time from an incident that occurred in
Baltimore, MD when he was just 16 years old.
According to the Baltimore Examiner, 22-year-old Chopper (born Kevin Barnes),
is now under bench warrant for failing to appear in court over 2001 charges
that he committed robbery with a BB gun. While Chopper’s attorney, Paul Gardner,
told the Baltimore County judge on Wednesday (February 28) the rapper was unable
to appear in court because he is currently imprisoned at Georgia’s Gwinnett
Country Detention Center, Judge Patrick Stringer opted to issue a bench warrant
for Barnes’ arrest. He set bail at $50,000.
Best known for a stint on MTV’s "Makin Da Band," Chopper was signed
to Bad Boy Entertainment, first as a member of Da Band and later as a solo artist.
Police arrested Chopper last August in Atlanta after they discovered the old
Baltimore County warrant during a traffic stop.
Chopper, who is also known as Young City, got into trouble in Maryland as a
16-year-old, when on Sept. 29, 2001, he allegedly approached a couple near the
Eastpoint Mall, while riding his mountain bike. According to court records,
Chopper flashed a gun and took $90 in cash from the man’s pocket. Chopper was
arrested at the scene of the crime and made his first court appearance, but
according to his attorney, after he didn’t hear from the court again he believed
the case was dropped.
Gardner argued that Chopper had not been trying to hide from the justice system.
"He hasn’t been hiding," Gardner argued to the judge. "He’s been
on TV in front of 30 million people. … He’s been on MTV. He’s been with Sean
"Didy" Combs. He’s been enjoying his career." "He
has a history of showing up, and he maintains his innocence," Gardner added.
Chopper’s attorney requested that the case be postponed; arguing that the rapper’s
future as a musician could be jeopardized if forced to serve jail time. "I’m
astounded by the judge’s decision," Gardner told the Examiner. "This
judge is putting in danger a million-dollar deal over a BB gun when he was 16.
If he’s in jail, he can’t record. Then there’s no record deal." Chopper
is currently being jailed at the Gwinnet County Detention Center in Georgia.
He was arrested last week on charges of aggravated assault, simple battery and
obstructing a law enforcement officer after a domestic dispute with his girlfriend.