Plies Off the Hook in 2006 Shooting Case

Judge determines Florida rapper doesn't owe anything to injured concertgoers.

Posted: 04/05/2012 02:55 PM EDT

A Florida judge overturned a ruling that Plies (Algernod Lanier Washington) was liable for a shooting involving his brother and other men at a night club in 2006. According to The Gainesville Sun, circuit judge Mary Day Coker upheld Plies's appeal to a verdict that ordered him to pay $200,000 to five victims of a shooting incident at one of his shows.

Although Plies was arrested that evening and charged with carrying a concealed weapon, his attorney, Robert Rush, maintained that he couldn't be held accountable for the events that happened that night. "There was no evidence that he even knew who fired the shots when the shooting occurred," Rush said, before adding that Plies was taking pictures at the time of the shooting.

As previously reported, Plies was being sued for $10 million after his entourage was involved in a shooting at West Nightclub in Gainesville, Florida, on July 2, 2006. He was initially found liable for the shooting despite testifying that he had nothing to do with the actions of his brother or any other man. However, the plaintiffs undermined his testimony when they played a YouTube video he recorded admitting that he had indeed profited off the incident. Each of the five victims was initially awarded $200,000 in damages. Now, that judgment has been overturned.

“No evidence was presented during trial to support the allegations that Defendant Washington possessed a gun in the club on July 2, 2006, no evidence that he fired a gun, no evidence that he entrusted a gun to any person who fired a gun, and no evidence that he knew that anyone had a gun in the club that night,” circuit judge Coker wrote in her ruling on March 28.

Plies's brother Ronell Lawerence Levatte, on the other hand, was convicted and served nearly three years in prison for attempted murder. Although the parties injured in the incident won't receive any money from Plies himself, his brother Levatte is still expected to pay $40,000 to each of the five plaintiffs.

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