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Drakeo the Ruler Acquitted of Murder

Los Angeles rapper Drakeo the Ruler, born Darrell Caldwell, was found not guilty of murder and attempted murder on Thursday, The Fader reports. He was convicted of one felony count of gun possession by a felon. The jury could not, after five days of deliberation, reach a verdict on an additional charge against Caldwell of conspiracy to commit murder.

Co-defendant Mikell Buchanan, who raps under the name Kellz, was convicted of murder and attempted murder. Drakeo’s brother Devante Caldwell, who raps under the name Ralfy the Plug, was convicted of multiple charges of second degree commercial burglary and possession of an assault rifle.

The three artists, members of rising rap crew the Stinc Team, were charged in connection to a December 2016 shooting outside a warehouse party in Carson, Calif. that left 24-year-old Davion Gregory dead and two others injured. Prosecutors argued that the rappers arrived at the event with plans to kill another rapper, RJ, born Rodney Brown. RJ has since claimed on Instagram that he does not believe he was targeted. Drakeo has maintained his innocence.

Drakeo is reportedly not expected to face prison time for his gun possession conviction due to time already served. Prosecutors have until Aug. 1 to decide whether to refile the conspiracy charge and he will remain in prison until then. Buchanan faces life without parole. Ralfy reportedly faces up to 10 years or more for each of his charges due to enhanced sentencing for gangs, as which prosecutors characterized the Stinc Team.

Drakeo’s breakout album Cold Devil was one of SPIN’s 51 best of 2018. Read journalist Jeff Weiss’ thorough report on the artists, shooting, investigation, and trial at The Fader.