Prosecutors say the man accused of fatally shooting rapper Takeoff last month outside a bowling alley in Houston, Texas sought information about using fake airline tickets to obtain passports in an attempt to escape out of the country.
e also repeatedly searched online as to whether he was a suspect in the case, prosecutors allege during Wednesday’s hearing.
But lawyers for Patrick Xavier Clark, 33, say their client never intended to leave Houston and that he will likely pursue his right to defend himself in the case, as he has maintained his innocence. .
Letitia Quinones, one of Clark’s attorneys, said after the hearing: “We feel comfortable that when the time is right, Mr. Clark will have a valid and worthy claim of self-defense.
She declined to provide more details about this to reporters, but during the hearing she suggested that Clark only opened fire after someone had shot him first. Police say Clark fired the first shot.
The plane taking off was shot in the head and back as more than 30 people were leaving a private party at the bowling alley around 2:30 a.m. on November 1.
Houston police said the shooting happened after a disagreement over a “fatal” dice game outside a bowling alley, but the 28-year-old rapper was not involved and was an “innocent bystander”.
Clark was arrested on December 1 on murder charges.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Clark’s defense sought to reduce his bond from two million dollars (£1.6 million) to $100,000 (£80,500). But State District Judge Josh Hill was hesitant to reduce his bail, believing he could have been a flight risk and that Clark’s “search for fake tickets on Google made me very nervous.” .
During the hearing, Houston police sergeant Michael Burrow testified that a review of Clark’s cell phone after his arrest showed that he had performed online searches for fake airline tickets.
I believe he is preparing to flee the countrySergeant Michael Burrow
Prosecutors allege that these searches were related to Clark’s attempt to obtain an expedited passport. Investigators also found multiple searches on his phone in which Clark looked at articles about the shooting and whether he was named as a suspect, he said.
“I believe he is preparing to leave the country,” Sgt. Burrow said.
Burrow said surveillance video showed Clark holding a bottle of wine in one hand when he opened fire. Clark left the bottle near the scene of the shooting and fingerprints found on the bottle were later used to identify him.
Video of the day
FBI sources also indicated that Clark was present at the shooting.
Ms Quinones denied Clark was trying to leave the country after the shooting, saying that before his arrest he had canceled a previously scheduled trip to Mexico and that on the day of his arrest he was looking for an apartment to rent in the city.
The judge agreed to reduce Clark’s bond to one million dollars (£0.8m) if additional security requirements can be met and he agreed to review next week the additional information. additions from Clark’s attorneys about possible further lowering.
Clark’s father, Joseph, testified that his son worked as a DJ and also advertised for nightclubs but he was never financially stable, still lived at home, borrowed a truck to get around and would not have enough. resources to escape to another country.
During the hearing, prosecutors played a recording of a call Clark made on December 6 from prison to his family in which he could be heard saying that the money The $2 million bond “can be done now.”
Prosecutors allege that Clark had access to large amounts of cash during his work as a DJ and with nightclubs. But Ms. Quinones said that Clark’s suggestion he could pay two million dollars was just a boast from “a young man who talks too much and talks too much”.
In the shooting, a man and another woman suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds and at least two opened fire, police said.
Police said investigators were still trying to track down witnesses. Sergeant Burrow said the gun used to kill Takeoff has yet to be found.
Born Kirsnick Khari Ball, Takeoff is the youngest member of Migos, a Grammy-nominated rap trio from suburban Atlanta that also features Uncle Quavo and cousin Offset.
Migos first broke out with the big hit Versace in 2013. They had four Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, although Takeoff wasn’t on their multi-week No. 1 hit Bad and Boujee, with the starring Lil Uzi Vert.
They released a trilogy of albums called Culture, Culture II and Culture III, with the first two reaching #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/man-charged-over-takeoffs-death-tried-to-avoid-arrest-say-police-42220288.html Man accused of Takeoff’s death tried to avoid arrest, police say