New details have emerged regarding the senseless killing of 20-year-old rapper Pop Smoke. Last July, The Root reported that four suspects were charged with murdering the rapper, whose real name is Bashar Jackson, during a home invasion in Los Angeles. On Friday, a detective testified that the youngest among those who were charged, a 15-year-old, admitted to shooting Jackson during a recorded interview with a cellmate at a juvenile detention center last May.
“He admitted that he shot the victim three times with a Baretta 9 [mm.],” LAPD Det. Carlos Camacho said during a preliminary hearing for 20-year-old Corey Walker, the oldest among those charged in the case, the New York Daily News reports.
According to the detective, the group of alleged assailants was there to steal Jackson’s diamond-studded Rolex.
From the Daily News:
The home intruders who stormed the Canarsie-bred rapper’s Airbnb rental in the Hollywood Hills also were after his Cuban link chain but only managed to swipe the luxury timepiece, which they later resold for just $2,000, the investigator said.
The 15-year-old alleged shooter “admitted that they asked for the jewelry” and then had “a confrontation” with Pop Smoke during the 4 a.m. home invasion on Feb. 19, 2020, the detective said.
“They got into a fight, and he shot him three times,” Camacho said, citing the youngest defendant’s recorded jail interview. “He said he shot him on the back.”
Camacho testified that Walker, who pleaded not guilty, was also recorded while he confessed to an informant who was placed in his cell after his arrest in July.
“He said that when the individuals got inside, the suspects confronted [Jackson], who was in the shower naked,” Camacho said.
During the hearing, Walker’s attorney, Christopher Darden, motioned to have the murder charges against his client dropped arguing that he was only the driver and that he never actually entered the home.
“He’s clearly not an aider and abettor of premeditated murder,” Darden argued. “At most, he’s a principal in a robbery. He’s a driver. He is outside.”
Camacho said during his testimony that Walker told the informant that Jackson was at first compliant in giving up his jewelry, but that he later decided to fight back and rush the group of teens who then “pistol-whipped” him before the 15-year-old shot him in the chest.
Deputy District Attorney Hilary Williams argued that even if Walker never actually entered the home, his “reckless indifference to human life” made him responsible for his part in Jackson’s death.
Williams said that Walker had scouted the house hours before the robbery and that he made the decision to “specifically target this house wanting this victim to be there.”
The judge declined to reduce the charges against Walker ruling that there was “sufficient cause” to charge him with murder.
Public testimony in the case began Thursday. Here’s what another detective said happened as reported by the Daily News:
Det. Christian Carrasco testified Thursday that a woman who was with Pop Smoke in the rented home’s second-story bedroom recalled seeing a group of men storm through curtains from a balcony accessible by a backyard staircase.
One of the men allegedly pressed a black semiautomatic firearm to her forehead and shouted, “Shut the f—k up. Do you want to die?”
“She heard a struggle coming from the shower area and heard Mr. Jackson screaming. Mr. Jackson ran out of the bathroom and then she heard a loud pop and [heard] Mr. Jackson fall to the ground,” the detective said.
“Two other individuals began to kick him,” Carrasco said, citing the woman’s testimony.
Walker is due back in court for re-arraignment on June 3. If he is found guilty of murder, he is eligible to face the death penalty, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney.