One of Pop Smoke’s Killers Pleads Guilty to Rapper’s Murder
A 20-year-old man has pleaded guilty and admitted to killing Pop Smoke during a robbery at a Hollywood Hills, Calif. mansion in 2020.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, published on Thursday (April 6), the defendant pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and home invasion robbery. Judge J. Christopher Smith sentenced the young man to four years and two months in the Secure Youth Treatment Facility, but warned the killer could remain in juvenile custody until he was 25. The judge refused to apply the two years and eight months the defendant had already spent in juvenile hall toward his sentence.
The man is among three others charged in Pop Smoke's murder. Two juvenile defendants, ages 15 and 17 during the homicide, and Corey Walker, 19, have yet to be sentenced. A court order had been issued barring the media from identifying the juvenile defendants.
Pop Smoke was shot and killed on Feb. 19, 2020, inside a Hollywood Hills, Calif. mansion he was renting while on a four-day trip to Los Angeles. In the house, the late Brooklyn rapper shared a photo of a gift bag from his favorite clothing brand Amiri, which revealed the address of the house.
That night, the four men wearing ski masks invaded Pop's bedroom and confronted the late rapper in a shower where one of the suspects—a 15-year-old boy—pistol-whipped the rapper and shot him three times in the back, a detective testified during a preliminary hearing. The robbers ran off with Pop's diamond-encrusted Rolex, which they sold for $2,000.
At a hearing in August 2022, Deputy Dist. Atty. Hilary Williams told a judge that the 20-year-old defendant who pleaded guilty on Thursday played a major role in the murder. According to the prosecutor, he canvassed the mansion, assisted Walker in recruiting the three other juveniles to rob Pop Smoke and, after breaking into the home, remained in "constant communication" with Walker, who was the getaway driver.
Pop Smoke was on the cusp of fame in the Brooklyn drill rap scene with hits like "Welcome to the Party," "Dior" and "Christopher Walking" from his Meet The Woo 2 project. Since his death, Pop Smoke posthumously achieved two back-to-back No. 1 albums: Faith in 2021 and Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon in 2020.