Brooklyn rapper Casanova is exploring legal loopholes to challenge the 15-year sentence he was given for racketeering as a member of the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation Blood Gang.
A report from AllHipHop, outlines the “Don’t Run” MC’s attempt to reduce his sentence using the dictionary.
Casanova, birth name Caswell Senior, and 17 other members of the Gorilla Stone Bloods were prosecuted under RICO laws for an assortment of serious offenses such as murder and drug trafficking. Senior’s role in the 2018 assault and robbery of Niya Rucker in a New York City diner played a significant part in his sentencing.
In that incident, Casanova and his entourage attacked Rucker after she livestreamed while they were eating. Rucker told Pix 11 News that after she was punched and dragged from her seat, the rapper took her phone, deleted her livestream and choked her unconscious. Rucker was left with a broken jaw, loose tooth and lacerations. She dropped a civil suit in March of 2020.
Casanova’s attorney Scott Leemon is focusing on the phone, which was returned to Rucker afterwards. In order to meet the definition of robbery under New York law three conditions must be met. Physical force must be used or threatened, the intent must be to take the property, and the defendant commits larceny.
Because larceny requires wrongfully taking and keeping the property, Leemon’s argument is that larceny wasn’t committed because Rucker had her phone returned to her. Without larceny, the three robbery requirements haven’t been met. Since Senior took responsibility for a more severe offense than he believes he committed, then “extraordinary acceptance of responsibility” on his part should allow for a sentence reduction.
This isn’t the only legal challenge to his sentence. In July, the Roc Nation signee filed an appeal to the guilty verdict arguing that he only remained in the gang to prevent retaliation for defecting and actively tried to distance himself from any illegal activity after finding success in music.
The appeal was filed nearly a month after Senior was assaulted at Essex County Correction Facility following publicly renouncing his membership in the Gorilla Stone Bloods. He is believed to have been attacked with a weapon in what Essex County spokesperson Anthony Puglisi describes as “minor incident.”