6ix9ine's infamous July 2018 kidnapping may not have been what it appears to be, says the lawyer of the man accused of committing the act.
The rapper is a cooperating witness as the case against two of his former Nine Trey affiliates proceeds to trial next month (a number of others charged in the case have already pleaded guilty). On July 22 of last year, 6ix9ine was reportedly abducted, forced into a car, assaulted, and robbed of hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry. But Deveraux Cannick, the lawyer of the man accused of the crime, Anthony "Harv" Ellison, told reporters today that he intends to argue that the incident was staged.
"No robbery or kidnapping or assault happened," Cannick said after a hearing at Thurgood Marshall Courthouse in lower Manhattan on Friday. "It didn't happen. He had an event that made it look like a robbery or kidnapping."
The lawyer went on to say that the fact the whole thing was captured on camera—something the government revealed in a recent filing—would work out in his client's favor.
"They're saying the car [where the kidnapping allegedly occurred] was wired by the government," he explained. "We believe that's going to be very helpful to the defense."
Cannick's take on 6ix9ine's motivation to fake his own kidnapping? The rapper had music to promote.
"He was about to drop an album," the lawyer said (6ix9ine's Dummy Boy was originally supposed to be released on November 23, 2018). "He trolls every time he's about to drop another album. Gotta get your buzz up. That's how you make money."
Another item revealed in the filing earlier this month was that the rapper put a $50,000 bounty on Ellison's head after the kidnapping. Cannick likewise dismissed that as theater. "He has the resources, and apparently he had access to individuals who would carry it out," he said. "You have to wonder whether or not it was real."
At Friday's hearing, Ellison was charged with a new crime: a slashing that took place on October 24, 2018 in the Brooklyn housing project colloquially known as "Smurf Village." The attack, Assistant United States Attorney Michael Longyear contended, was "related to a leadership dispute among members of Nine Trey." Cannick is attempting to keep a photograph of the victim, who was slashed across the face, out of the trial.
At the hearing, it became clear that the remaining defendant in the case besides Ellison, Aljermiah "Nuke" Mack, would not be pleading out. His counsel agreed with the judge that it was "fairly certain" Mack would join Ellison at trial. The trial's start date was delayed a week so that Cannick can investigate the October slashing incident. It will now begin on September 16.