Kevin Gates has been sentenced to 180 days in jail after a jury found him guilty of misdemeanor battery on Wednesday.
The charges stemmed from an August 2015 incident, in which the 30-year-old rapper was filmed kicking a woman in the chest during his concert in Lakeland, Florida. Prior to this week’s verdict, Gates insisted he was innocent and was simply defending himself under Florida's infamous "Stand Your Ground" law. He claimed the victim, Miranda Dixon, was trying to pull him off stage by repeatedly grabbing his shorts from the crowd. Gates said that Dixon wouldn’t heed his verbal warning, so he used “necessary force” to ensure he wouldn’t be harmed.
Jose Baez, who also represented Casey Anthony, defended Gates during the trial. According to Fox 13 News, the attorney echoed Gates’ claims, stating his client’s alleged kick was in response to Dixon’s battery. Baez also argued that Gates' foot didn’t actually touch Dixon, and that she was simply attempting to gain damages in an upcoming civil trial.
“Her credibility is to be questioned and you will not be able to beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt in this case believe her and that is why you should enter a verdict of not guilty in this case," Baez said.
The jury, made up of six white women, ultimately found Gates guilty. The state reportedly requested 60 days in jail, with one year of probation, and mandatory anger management classes; however, the judge tripled that sentence with credit for any time served, as well as fines and court costs.
Stay tuned as more information comes in.