A mid-October trial date was vacated Thursday for a man who is among four people charged with murder in the killing of rapper Pop Smoke during a 2020 robbery at a Hollywood Hills home.
Corey Walker, now 21, had been set to go on trial Oct. 13 in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom, but defense attorney Christopher Darden requested the delay.
Superior Court Judge Curtis B. Rappe set a Dec. 9 pretrial hearing and a subsequent court date of Jan. 20, noting that Walker’s case would go to trial within 30 days of the latter date unless there are further continuances in his case.
Walker — and three other people whose cases are being handled in juvenile court — are charged in the Feb. 19, 2020, killing of the 20-year-old New York-based rapper, whose real name was Bashar Jackson.
Officers went to 2033 Hercules Drive in the Hollywood Hills at about 4 a.m. that day in response to a 911 call and found the mortally injured rapper, who was subsequently pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Los Angeles police said shortly after the shooting that investigators believed the suspects entered Jackson’s short-term rental home and shot and robbed him inside. Investigators believe the suspects are “members of a Los Angeles street gang,” according to police.
LAPD Capt. Steve Lurie said the 911 call that brought police to the Hercules Drive address came from someone on the East Coast who said a friend’s home was being broken into by multiple suspects, and that one of them was armed with a handgun.
“When officers arrived there approximately six minutes later, they discovered a victim inside the house had been shot,” Lurie said. “They called the fire department, who arrived and transported that victim to Cedars-Sinai, where he was pronounced dead.”
The suspects were wearing masks and were last seen running from the home and possibly getting into a nearby vehicle.
Officers detained several people who were inside the house, according to Lurie, but “all of those folks were released. … No one was arrested at the scene.”
Walker was arrested July 9, 2020 and has remained in custody since then.
Pop Smoke released an album in July 2019, and one of the songs, “Welcome to the Party,” was considered by some the song of the summer. Nicki Minaj did a remix of the song a few months later.
The rapper also collaborated with Travis Scott on a song called “Gatti.”
Pop Smoke was named top new artist, top rap artist and top male rap artist at the Billboard Music Awards in May 2021, while his “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon” won top rap album and top Billboard 200 album.
The rapper’s mother, Audrey Jackson, accepted the top Billboard 200 album award on her late son’s behalf, saying then that she wanted to “thank the fans for honoring the life and spirit of my son so much that he continues to manifest as if he were still here in the flesh.”
“He created music for the kid who has to sleep four in a room, the kid who has to figure out how to get to school each day so he can graduate and make his mom proud,” she added. “He did this so that 14-year-olds would not have to kill to prove that they are somebody. That is the irony in this.”
According to various media reports, the up-and-coming New York rapper posted photos earlier that day or late the night before from a party at the home, even revealing the address. According to TMZ, one of the photos showed a person holding a large sum of money.