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In SDNY 2 Rappers Trial As Emo Jones Pursued For Kenny G and Hedge Fund Unlike 6ix9ine

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, Patreon
The Source - XXL - The Root - Vibe, etc

SDNY COURTHOUSE,  Oct 11 – When SoundCloud emo rapper Michael Jones was brought in shackled to observe his motion for reconsideration denied by Judge John G. Koeltl of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on September 26, he had face tattoos as does Tekashi 6ix9ine.

  But there was no media except Inner City Press in the gallery. And the government was not offering any 5K1 cooperator's letter much less time served. Jones faces 20 years to life.

  On October 11 the US Attorney put on the stand Felicia Medina and John Dipaola, the "resident manager" at The Carolina at 60 West 23rd Street. There, in apartment (or "Suite") 545 Diana Haikova was found dead in bed on December 7, 2017. Several times Michael Jones' lawyer Justin Bonus rose up to object, invariably denied by Judge Koeltl. In fact, Judge Koeltl didn't even give Bonus an opportunity for re-cross before moving on. We'll have more on this.

  On the eve of trial Inner City Press exclusively reported: Michael Jones was a security guard and upcoming or wannabe emo rapper in Camden, New Jersey, on the margins of the higher profile 'Lil Peep scene.

  Lil Peep may he rest in peace died of an overdose, for which no one was every charged but one of his circle, Mackned (who happens to be the godchild of musician Kenny G) seems to be in the mix, as alleged in detail to Inner City Press by Michael Jones' parents.

  Significantly, after the death of Diane Haikova for which Michael Jones is now charged, Jones parents allege that Mackned was  arrested for using Haikova's credit card after her death. In full disclosure but with all due respect, his father acknowledges knowledge of how drug dealing and subsequent searches work.

  But Michael Jones was not a drug dealer. The proof they say is that even after the US Attorney's Office rather than charging Mackned in connection with Haikova's death turns him into an undercover, Witness-1 could not make Jones deal any serious quantity of drugs.

  He did lure him from Camden to Manhattan, cruelly with the false promise of a music recording deal, to give him a small amount of drugs. But still Michael Jones was not arrested. According to his parents despite fruitless wiretaps, the authorities only arrested Michael Jones down in Miami, and didn't even search where he was staying. Something is fishy here.

  A significant but covered up fact? Not only is Mackned the godson of Kenny G, according to Michael Jones' dogged parents - Diana Haikova is the child of a hedgefunder, Robert Arnott.

 And so under this thoery it appears that the US Attorney's office wanted to provive an indictment if not conviction to help the hedge fund / socialite family with their pain. But why Michael Jones? Inner City Press will have more on this as we cover as much of this trial as we can, amid a 6ix9ine related sentencing and amid the Honduras wholesale drugs trial promoted and this one not. Watch this site. More on Patreon here.

  The difference is not only in their music. Michael Jones has no one to testify against. So he has no leverage. Even Tekashi's driver Jorge Rivera is getting a 5K1 letter. Not Jones.

 On September 26 the motion to reconsider was denied by Judge Koeltl, who had just turned on the white noise to prevent Inner City Press from hearing about yet another cooperator, story on that soon. Inner City Press will have more on all these cases. For now more on Patreon here.

Back on August 5, Jones' lawyer Justin Bonus attacked the autopsy information presented to the grand jury, and inducements offered by the government to witnesses at the impending trial for the death of Diana Haikova just after the funeral of more prominent emo rapper Lil Peep.

  On September 4 the scene was quiet different. It was only Jones and Bonus, two prosecutors, and three supporters of Haikova who after the proceeding walked with the prosecutors toward the US Attorney's Office.
  Bonus was asking about the Grand Jury process that led to a superseding indictment of his client. Woah, Judge Koeltl said, never do that - meaning, it seemed, imply that he didn't take the Grand Jury's secret role in the criminal justice system seriously.

 Judge Koeltl had set the trial for October 9 but was informed by the prosecution that falls on Yom Kippur. He moved it to October 10, after his Deputy Mr. Fletcher confirmed with the SDNY Jury Office that a jury can be picked on a Thursday. Judge Koeltl said he will probably sit, then, that Friday. There is a defense expert witness only available on October 14.

  This prosecution contrasts with the 27 month plea deal struck by the same office with a Rockland County man who distributed heroin / fentanyl known to him to be deadly to Lauren McKenna. In that now closed case, attention shifts to the Washington Heights dealer who sold the "King Death" heroin. Here, Michael Jones faces years and years. Are the prosecutors more in touch with this victim's family than in the Rockland County case? Watch this site.

  Now the trial, set for September 9, is being postponed. Jones' lawyer Bonus wrote: " Dear Honorable Koetl: This office represents Michael Jones, who is the Defendant in the above-referenced action. I respectfully write the Court to advise it of a scheduling conflict with the medical examiner, Dr. Zhanna Georgievskaya, a material witness in this case. In the Government’s March 18, 2019 expert disclosure and July 10, 2019 response to Michael Jones’ pretrial motion, the Government indicated that it anticipated calling Dr. Zhanna Georgievskaya as a witness, as she is the medical examiner that conducted the autopsy. After speaking with Dr. Georgievskaya today, she indicated that she was on family leave and unavailable between September 9, 2019 and October 11, 2019. Dr. Georgievskaya is a critical witness for the defense, as she supports the defense’s theory that Diana Haikova died of acute intoxication. As such, I respectfully request that the Court adjourn the trial until the doctor is available or grant whatever remedy the Court deems appropriate." For reply, see Patreon here.

 Judge Koeltl, who sealed the presentment of a John Doe detainee with an Arabic interpreter, has not responded to opposion to such secrecy and is apparently away. In his stead the Part I judge granted Jones' motion and pushed the trial back a month: "MEMO ENDORSEMENT as to Michael Jones (1) on [43] FIRST LETTER MOTION addressed to Judge John G. Koeltl from Justin C Bonus dated 08/15/2019 re: Continuance based upon Scheduling Conflict. In response to the defendant's letter dated August 15, 2019 (Dkt. No. 43) and the Government's letter dated August 15, 2019 (Dkt. No. 45), the request for a continuance of the trial is granted. The trial will begin on October 9, 2019 at 9:00 AM. New dates for motions in limine, requests to charge, and voir dire submissions will be set at the pre-trial conference on September 4, 2019 at 3:00 PM. (Signed by Judge Jed S. Rakoff on 8/16/2019)."

Back on August 5 when Bonus said, He's never been arrested, a man in the gallery said loudly, "Never!" Later from the supporters section, this line: "Netflix should be here!" But they weren't. Just Inner City Press and perhaps one other journalist. Jones' genre was dubbed Goth Boi Clique; his online name is, or was, realnewjerzeydevil. Judge Koeltl shot down each and every motion.  The case is US v. Michael Jones, 18-cr-662 (JGK) and Inner City Press will continue to follow it, watch this site. More on Patreon here.

  In the Tekashi6ix9ine case across Pearl Street in 40 Foley Square, when Fuguan Lovick appeared in court shackled on May 9 to plea guilty in the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods case best known for the involvement of rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine a/k/a Daniel Hernandez, it began as a routine allocution.  Then Lovick implied, at least temporarily, that it was self defense. See below.

 On June 17, co-defendant Kintea McKenzie was granted his request to remain in New York City in a Bureau of Prisons facility until his sentencing, instead of being "farmed out." The filing: "ORDER as to Kintea McKenzie: On the application of LISA SCOLARI, attorney for KINTEA MCKENZIE and without objection from the government, IS HEREBY recommended that the United States Marshal Service and the Bureau of Prisons house Kintea McKenzie (AKA McKenzie Kintea) 86587-054 in a BOP facility in New York City until he is sentenced. (Signed by Judge Paul A. Engelmayer on 6/17/2019)."

 On June 11 counsel for another co defendant who has pled guilty, Kifano Jordan, has asked to adjourn his sentencing from July 10 for eight weeks until September 6. The reasons given by defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman are that "it is taking longer than we had anticipated to locate and retrieve certain records concerning the defendant's personal history and characteristics (see 18 U.S.C. Section 3553(a)(1)) as well as certain financial records, which we believe will be relevant at sentencing."

 On June 10 when Aljermiah Mack appeared before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul A. Engelmayer in shackles, Lichtman and his associate were in the audience - and Engelmayer demanded twice that they stop speaking. He asked, Who are you? Then he added that they practice in this court. Call it it off day.

  With a September 4 trial date, Assistant US Attorney Michael Longyear said that only Mack and two others have not pled guilty, and that one of those two is on the verge. So will Tekashi6ix9ine not have to testify?

 Mack's lawyer Louis Fasulo said his client is eager for a speedy resolution; he will begin reviewing discovery immediately. The government seized two of Mack's phones when he was arrested on June 6; they are seeking search warrants for those and his Instagram account. The whole proceeding had the feeling of a very genteel push to plead guilty. We'll have more on this.


Back on May 9 when Lovick, also known as Fu Banga, offered his own description of what he did on April 21, 2018 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Judge Engelmayer did not accept it. 

Lovick said that outside the door of a boxer, a group ran at him; he drew a gun and fired it into the air to make them step back.   

Judge Engelmayer said this allocution wouldn't do, with its implication of self defense and failure to mention the Nine Trey Gangsta Blood organization. He urged Lovick, still in chains, to spend ten minutes with his defense lawyer Jeffrey G. Pittell to discuss a prepared allocation which would jibe with counts six and seven of the superseding indictment to which he was ostensibly pleading guilty.   

Pittell, with whom Inner City Press spoke just outside the courtroom, had previously filed a motion to suppress and to dismiss. He had an interesting argument that the New York State crime of menacing - trying to cause the fear of bodily harm - would not fit even the superseding lesser included charge to which Lovick was pleading guilty. Pittell told Inner City Press this is an issue of first impression.   

But as Judge Engelmayer put it when after two breaks he accepted Lovick's guilty plea, lawyers can always make arguments but it was his view that there was no real claim of self-defense in this case. Pittell referred to a video of the incident but Judge Engelmayer said he had not seen it. Venue was also questioned; that too was smoothed over.

As more and more of the initial defendants in the overall USA v. Jones / Tekashi 6ix 9ine case plead guilty, to some the remaining question is the pleading-out of the defendant(s) who are NOT affiliated with the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. Inner City Press will continue to cover this case. For now, a bit more on Patreon, here.

Photo of
                        SDNY courthouse, Worth St entrance, (c) Inner
                        City Press

For more on this case, including the April 30, 2019 multiple defendant discovery conference before Judge Engelmayer, click here.


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