Turk Convicted On All Charges, Rapper Faces 10 Years

A federal jury convicted

rapper Tab “Turk” Virgil of three felony charges yesterday (August

9). Virgil was convicted of being a felon with a handgun, a fugitive with a handgun

and a drug addict with a handgun.

The charges stem

from a shootout during a January 2004 drug raid of an apartment. SWAT team member

Deputy Chris Harris was shot in the jaw, hip arm and calf.

During the trial,

Deputy Harris said he opened a double-door closed in the apartment and saw a

bright muzzle flash. He said he immediately felt the bullets’ impact.

Harris said he

traded fire with someone in the closet and that he could see bullets flying

through the door and into the ceiling of the apartment.

Afterwards, police

recovered a 9mm in the closet with six shells nearby. Ballistics evidence also

stated the bullet that struck the officer in the jaw came from the 9mm.

While tests on

Virgil’s hands came back inconclusive, prosecutors said the rapper had

gunfire residue on his shorts.

Virgil’s

attorney Javier Bailey told the jury that the rapper never fired a weapon. He

said that officers botched the investigation.

Bailey argued that

once police threw a flash-bang grenade into the apartment, no one would have

been capable of retrieving a weapon.

Six officers present

testified that they never saw Virgil with a gun in his hand and none of them

saw him in the closet either.

The leader of the

SWAT team, Sgt. Perry McEwen, said that Virgil and his girlfriend were ordered

to crawl out of the bedroom after the shooting.

McEwen testified

under oath that Virgil stated: "I thought we were being robbed."

Attorneys made

their final arguments yesterday morning and the jury took just five hours to

convict the chart-topping rapper, who made his mark as a member of Cash Money

Records’ hit group, The Hot Boys.

The group featured

fellow New Orleans rappers Juvenile, B.G. and Lil’ Wayne.

Virgil’s

attorney expressed disappointment at the time the jury spent deliberating and

has vowed to appeal.

Virgil faces between

five and 10 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced October 26.

The rapper is still

facing an attempted-murder trial stemming from the shooting, but a trial date

has not been set.

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