Eric B. was released from a New Jersey jail Tuesday, after spending two weeks behind bars.
The NJ Advance Media reports Eric B.—legal name Eric Barrier—was jailed Oct. 28 in Bergen County on a 17-year-old bench warrant. According to the outlet, the DJ/producer/actor had pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and resisting arrest in early 2002. Eric B. failed to appear at his scheduled sentencing in March of that year, which led the judge to issue a warrant.
Eric B.'s attorney, Patrick Toscano, claims his client was unaware of the warrant until last month, when he was questioned by Vermont law enforcement. The lawyer told the court that Paul Bergrin—the attorney who represented Eric B. in the 2002 case—had inaccurately informed his client he did not have to show up for the March sentencing hearing.
"Mr. Bergrin told Mr. Barrier that his case was ‘dismissed’ because he was accepted into PTI (pre-trial intervention)," Toscano wrote in a letter to Judge James Guida. "When Mr. Barrier asked Mr. Bergrin if he was sure of that, Mr. Bergrin advised him that he definitely did not need to appear, and that Mr. Bergrin would be in court on that date to handle everything for him."
Toscano also pointed out that Bergrin is now serving six life sentences for a slew of charges, including trafficking, racketeering, and murder.
"Bergrin’s counsel to Mr. Barrier was flawed, fraudulent, unethical and deceptive, through no fault of Mr. Barrier," Toscano continued.
Eric B., who celebrated his 56th birthday Nov. 8 behind bars, is mostly known as one half of the legendary hip-hop duo Eric B. & Rakim. He recently landed a role on the CBS series Blue Bloods alongside Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, and Tom Selleck. Toscano said his client feared his arrest would cost him the gig.
"He advised me that his role on Blue Bloods will be compromised and he will likely have his contract voided if he is not released from the (jail) at this time to explain this entire situation to his producers/directors," Toscano wrote.
Eric B. was released on bail Tuesday afternoon, after Judge Guida determined he was not a flight risk. He is due back in court on Nov. 22.