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Murder charge reinstated against Cassidy

Rapper accused of ambushing shooting; judge revokes bail
/ Source: The Associated Press

A judge reinstated a first-degree murder charge against rapper Cassidy in connection with an April ambush shooting that left one person dead and two wounded.

The ruling Monday meant Cassidy, 23, whose real name is Barry Reese, was no longer eligible for bail. Cassidy's lawyer, Fortunato Perri Jr., who has said his client is innocent of the charges, sought a trial as soon as possible.

"We are ready for trial right now," Perri told Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner. Perri waived formal arraignment, and Lerner scheduled a hearing Sept. 20 to assign the case to a trial judge.

Lerner overturned an Aug. 16 ruling by Municipal Judge Marsha Neifield that prosecutors had only enough evidence to try Cassidy on third-degree murder and attempted murder charges and weapons offenses.

Prosecutors alleged that Cassidy was one of several men who fired at least 30 times, using four different guns including assault rifles, at a van on a side street behind the rapper's home on April 15.

Desmond Hawkins, 22, was killed and his companions, Bobby Hoyle and Daniel Irvin, were wounded. Hoyle testified that Hawkins had been in an earlier altercation with the rapper and had gone to his home to make peace. Hoyle said he didn't see who fired at them.

Cassidy had been held without bail since he turned himself in to authorities on June 17.