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What About Your Friends: Behind Shawty Redd's Murder Charge

V EXCLUSIVE: Two weeks after Shawty Redd fatally shot a man in his Atlanta mansion, the successful young producer faces life in prison if convicted on murder charges. As Shawty Redd claims self-defense, LINDA HOBBS uncovers new details about the deceased, a man known in the streets as "Choppo."

Two weeks after Demetrius “Shawty Redd” Stewart was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of Damon A. Martin, questions still linger, details remain sketchy, and friendships look torn.

The 28-year-old Atlanta producer behind hits like Young Jeezy's "Trap or Die" and Snoop Dogg's "Sexual Eruption" has been charged with murder and is facing life in prison if convicted. Ever since the New Year's Day shooting, Stewart has been held in a Henry County jail without bond. At Henry County Superior Court on Tuesday, Judge Brian Amer set his bond at $200,000. Shawty Redd is now free on bail and will be allowed to make music, but must wear an ankle bracelet and stay within county limits.

Until his appearance in court, few details had been revealed about what happened inside Shawty Redd's Ballymeade Lane mansion in the gated community of Crystal Lake. “Mr. Stewart was attacked in his own home, and he was well within his rights to defend himself with force,” Stewart’s attorney, Marcia Fuller, said during the bond hearing. “His acts are insulated by the law. It’s in the Georgia Code that you can defend your home, yourself, and even property outside of your home, with deadly force, and not be prosecuted for it.”

A day after the hearing, Fuller told VIBE: “Demetrius was absolutely defending himself during the incident,” she said. “His career will continue. At this point we are waiting for the district attorney to make a decision as to whether or not they are going to go forward on this matter or dismiss it."

According to a source within Shawty Redd’s camp who is familiar with Tuesday’s court proceedings, two of the producers' associates reportedly testified that Martin was "an intruder" who was shot in self-defense, although the police report refers to him as an “associate.”

But according to a source speaking exclusively to VIBE, the deceased—who has been identified as a 35-year-old father from Southfield, Michigan—was actually a close friend of Stewart's known in the streets as "Choppo."

In a 2008 interview with Custom Whipz TV for a cover story in Custom Whipz magazine, Stewart shouted out Choppo and his six-member posse Geto Kingz—that includes Detroit artists Doeboy Reese, Supreme, Big Mudd, Hustleboy Tony Trice, and the crew’s founder Muff Man.

“So who you working with from the D?" the interviewer asked. "Geto Kingz, I know you fucking with them.”

“Aw, yeah, can’t forget about my Geto Kingz niggas out there man,” Stewart said. “They show a nigga much love man. What up big homie Choppo! What up my nigga!”

According to Martin’s best friend—a Detroit producer and engineer who goes by the name Beatz by Squeak—Martin was not an intruder to Stewart's home, and the relationship between the two was much deeper than most people suspect. “He damn near made Shawty Redd,” says Squeak, who picked out Martin’s funeral outfit. “It’s way more to it.”

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Jussie Smollett attends the 2018 Fox Network Upfront at Wollman Rink, Central Park on May 14, 2018 in New York City.
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Men Arrested In Jussie Smollett Attack Released From Custody Without Charge

The two men arrested and questioned by Chicago Police are no longer considered persons of interest in the Jussie Smollett attack. Olabijo and Abimbola Osundairo were released without charge “due to new evidence” in the case, police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmo said Friday (Feb. 15).

“The individuals questioned by police in the 'Empire' case have now been released without charging,” Guglielmo tweeted.

Authorities initially arrested the Osundairo brothers on battery charges. Guglielmo also added that  “investigators have additional work to complete.”

Case Update: Due to new evidence as a result of today's interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete. pic.twitter.com/Hswn1Qjgcy

— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 16, 2019

Gloria Schmidt, an attorney for the brothers, told reporters that there are still a lot of “moving parts” in the case. “My guys are innocent of the charge and they're going home,” she said.

Smollett told authorities that he was attacked by two masked men who shouted racist and homophobic epithets before punching him, tying a nose around his neck and pouring bleach on him. He recounted the attack in an interview with Good Morning America Thursday (Feb. 14), telling anchor Robin Roberts that he fought back before the attackers fled.

Authorities raided the brothers home earlier in the week removing several items including bleach and rope.

Schmidt previously confirmed that the brothers worked with Smollett on Empire, and didn’t understand how they became “people of interest” in the case.

 

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Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid Reach Confidential Settlement With NFL In Collusion Case

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have reached a confidential settlement with the league Friday (Feb. 15). The agreement brings an end to their collusion lawsuit against the NFL more than a year after the legal bout began.

According to Yahoo Sports, the Kaepernick and Reid would only agreed to settle for a “lucrative financial agreement.” No other details about the terms of the settlement were released.

Kaepernick and Reid filed sued the NFL for collusion in October 2017. The league denied the allegations, but failed in their attempt to have the suit dismissed.

Attorneys Mark Geragos and Ben Meiselas said in a statement that Kaepernick and Reid have engaged in an “ongoing dialogue” with the NFL for the past “several months.”

“As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances,” the statement explains. “The resolution of this matter is subject to confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.”

The NFL Players Association released a statement of support. “We are not privy to the details of the settlement, but support the decision by the players and their counsel,” the statement reads.

“We continuously supported Colin and Eric from the start of their protests, participated with their lawyers throughout their legal proceedings and were prepared to participate in the upcoming trial in pursuit of both truth and justice for what we believe the NFL and its clubs did to them. We are glad that Eric has earned a job and a new contract, and we continue to hope that Colin gets his opportunity as well.”

Jerry Jones, Bob McNair, Robert Craft and several other NFL owners and players were deposed in the case. Reid was recently signed to the Carolina Panthers. Kaepernick remains unsigned.

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— Mark Geragos (@markgeragos) February 15, 2019

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Jussie Smollett attends the 2018 Fox Network Upfront at Wollman Rink, Central Park on May 14, 2018 in New York City.
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Potential Suspects Arrested In Connection To Jussie Smollett Attack

A new development has been made in the investigation surrounding the Jan. 29 attack on Empire actor, Jussie Smollett. The Chicago Police have arrested two "potential suspects" by the names of Olabinjo and Abimola Osundairo. The Nigerian brothers are United States citizens, one of which has been an extra on Fox's Empire.

"Detectives have probable cause that they may have been involved in alleged crime and we are working to corroborate the allegations and investigative timeline as our investigation continues," the police said in a statement to ABC News.

Evidence was found in the Osundairo brothers' Chicago apartment when the cops raided their home on Thursday (Feb. 14). Among the list of evidence found in their home were bottles of bleach, which was mentioned in Smollett's report. The two potential suspects were detained at Chicago O'Hare Airport Wednesday evening (Feb. 13) following a flight from Nigeria and their attorney Gloria Schmidt, has since spoken out to clear their names.

"When they first learned what happened to him, they were horrified. This is someone they know, someone that they work with, so they don't want to see somebody go through that," Schmidt said in a statement to the Chicago CBS station WBBM. "They really don't understand how [police] even got information that linked them to this horrific crime, but they're not guilty of it."

Smollett has had to deal with rumors surrounding the fact that his attack may have been "staged" or a "hoax" by the actor himself. The 36-year-old actor appeared on Good Morning America to clear up the hearsay.

"I have to acknowledge the lies, and the hate," Smollet said to Robin Roberts. "And it feels like if I had said it was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me much more. A lot more, and that says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now."

The Chicago Police also released a statement of their own on Thursday evening (Feb. 14).

"While we haven't found any video documenting the alleged attack, there is also no evidence to say that this is a hoax," Chicago police said to ABC News. "The alleged victim is being cooperative at this time and continues to be treated as a victim, not a suspect."

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