A man who received a second-degree murder indictment connected to the death of Baton Rouge rapper Gee Money has accepted a plea deal. He will now serve considerably less time in jail after accepting lesser charges.
According to the Advocate, on Monday, Jan. 23, Deandre Demarcus Fields, 28, nicknamed “NBA Lil Pap,” was an associate of local rap artist NBA Youngboy, worked with the prosecution to enter into a plea deal. Now, after two years, that murder charge has been reduced to an accessory charge and he will only have to serve five years in prison.
Originally it was alleged by the state that NBA Lil Pap, who is in a rival rap crew to the deceased, shot and killed Gee Money in September 2017, while he was outside of his music studio on Dallas Drive.
19th Judicial District Court Judge Michael McDonald said, “With this agreement, the sentencing and the charge have been greatly reduced from what it was.”
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said as a result of the killing, other issues of violence and fallout from gang activity made it difficult for his office to fully prosecute Lil Pap, particularly since Donovan Cortez Jefferson, the key witness in the Gee Money’s murder, has since been arrested on his own murder allegations.
A July 2020 indictment stated in November 2019, two years after he said he saw NBA Lil Pap kill Gee Money, he fatally shot 41-year-old Derek Jones inside a Jim Taylor Drive apartment. The 34-year-old is scheduled to stand trial March 27.
“This (Jefferson’s) arrest created a serious issue to the successful trial of Deandre Fields as the state’s eyewitness has been indicted for a homicide himself,” Moore said in a statement. “There was no other direct information outside of some circumstantial evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Fields was responsible for this homicide.”
Moore continued, “Under the circumstances the state was not in any other position but to resolve this matter under these circumstances. My office has discussed these issues with Mr. Burton’s family prior to accepting this plea.”
For Fields, he still maintains his innocence, and at first didn’t want to take the deal. He said to his lawyers, “I can’t take time for something that I didn’t do.”
“I’m going to agree to the deal, but I want to say for the record that I’m 100% innocent,” he said to the judge, an outburst that contradicted the deal agreement.
“Well if you’re not guilty, you’re not guilty,” McDonald said.
“It’s in my best interest to accept the plea,” he retorted.
But after some persuasion, he took it and said despite being “100 percent innocent” he didn’t want to risk getting sentenced to life for the death. It was a gamble he could simply not make.