Plies Found Civilly Liable in 2006 Shooting, Owes $200,000
Five years after a shooting at a Gainesville, Fla. Plies performance left five concertgoers injured, a verdict has finally been reached in the $10 million civil suit against the 'Shawty' rapper.
Following seven days of testimony, the jury deliberated for eight hours and found Plies, born Algernod Lanier Washington, and his brother, Ronell Levatte, civilly liable for the 2006 club shooting, awarding the victims just under $200,000, according to GTN News.
While Plies was "stuck on the other side of town," and did not show up to hear the verdict, his lawyers revealed that they had attempted to settle the case out of court for four times the amount the plaintiffs were ultimately awarded, and plan to file motions in hopes of an appeal.
"It was a long trial, and as I said, we'll take up our post-trial motions, and we'll deal with it," Plies' lawyer said after the verdict was announced. "It's a shame that it had to go through this length, because Plies attempted every which way to resolve this case without going to trial. It would have been much more favorable for these plaintiffs."
On the night of the shooting, Levatte, also known as Big Gates, reportedly fired shots into the air at Gainesville's 283 West nightclub, after his brother's mic was cut off.
Though the case was initially dismissed in July, 2010, because Plies did not fire the gun, the plaintiffs redirected their suit, charging that Plies profited from their injuries, using the shooting to bolster his credibility. Plies was charged with misdemeanor possession of a concealed weapon, and received probation, after testifying that he had no hand in the shooting, while Levatte served three years in prison.