Rapper Remy Ma convicted of shooting woman

NEW YORK Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:00pm EDT

Rap artist Remy Smith, better known by her stage name Remy Ma, arrives at state court regarding shooting charges, in New York, March 18, 2008. REUTERS/Chip East

Rap artist Remy Smith, better known by her stage name Remy Ma, arrives at state court regarding shooting charges, in New York, March 18, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Chip East

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Grammy-nominated rapper Remy Ma was convicted of assault, weapons possession and coercion on Thursday for shooting a woman in the abdomen in a dispute about money in New York.

The New York State Supreme Court jury cleared her of charges of gang assault, witness tampering, witness intimidation and assault in a separate incident in which her associates are accused of beating up the boyfriend of a witness.

The artist, whose real name is Remy Smith, was taken into custody after the verdict was read. She faces five to 25 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Smith shot Makeda Barnes-Joseph after a night out in New York last year, thinking she had taken $3,000 from her purse.

Barnes-Joseph testified during the two-week trial that Smith was angry and carrying a black and silver gun when she entered the driver's side of her car about 3:30 a.m. on July 14, 2007.

Smith's gun went off as the two struggled over Barnes-Joseph's purse and the bullet pierced her colon and hit her rectum. Barnes-Joseph spent three weeks in the hospital.

Smith's lawyer, Ivan Fisher, called the shooting accidental and suggested Barnes-Joseph was exaggerating the facts to win a large sum in a separate civil suit.

"We're extremely disappointed with the verdict relating to the assault charges," Fisher told reporters outside the courthouse. "Remy was looking forward to complete vindication. Regrettably, it was only partial."

Remy Ma was nominated for a 2004 Grammy for her part in Terror Squad's song "Lean Back."

(Editing by Daniel Trotta and Bill Trott)

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