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Fort Myers, Florida, rapper Plies discussed yesterday’s verdict against him in regards to a shooting that occurred in July of 2006.
Plies was hit with a civil lawsuit over the shooting, which occurred in a Gainesville, Florida nightclub during a dispute with a promoter over performance time.
Plies, born Algernod Lanier Washington, his brother Ronell “Big Gates” LeVatte and members of their entourage were accused of firing into the crowd and injuring at least seven people.
After an eight day trial, a jury deliberated for eight hours and ruled against Plies and his brother.
“People with guns who started a fight were the cause of this incident,” Plies told AllHipHop.com. “Obviously, I’m not happy that it happened as this caused a lot of concerns that I didn’t want or need. Unfortunately, people took this as an opportunity to try to attack me and make money that they did not deserve, rather than asking for fair compensation for their injuries.”
Plies was sentenced to probation over the shooting, while his brother was sent to prison for three years over the incident.
Although Plies was irritated by the entire ordeal, the rapper, his brother and his attorney were more than satisfied with the verdict.
The total amount of damages against Plies resulted in $35,705.00, while Big Gates’ total damages were $49,575.00.
The rapper and his brother also said they offered to pay each victims medical bills directly after the shooting, but the plaintiffs were “uncooperative.”
Plies’ attorney Robert A. Rush said that they had offered to settle for a much larger amount, prior to the $10 million lawsuit heading to trial.
“We offered the plaintiffs a much larger monetary amount than the final verdicts in an attempt to settle this case so as to avoid the litigation costs, attorneys’ fees, time needed to go to trial. However, the plaintiffs’ attorney Christopher Chestnut refused all offers we made,” stated Plies’ defense attorney, Robert A. Rush of the law firm of Rush & Glassman.
Big Gates was represented by Carl B. Schwait of the firm of Dell Graham,while all five plaintiffs were represented by Gainesville attorney, Christopher Chestnut of The Chestnut Law Firm and the law firm of Spohrer and Dodd in Jacksonville, FL.