In April 2015, Lil Wayne’s tour bus was shot repeatedly in Atlanta following a performance. A few months later, Jimmy Carlton Winfrey (aka Young Thug and Birdman affiliate Peewee Roscoe) pleaded guilty to shooting the bus and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. After appealing his sentence in February, Winfrey’s conviction was overturned Friday by the Supreme Court of Georgia, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The court found that a Cobb County judge overstepped her bounds by “implicitly” communicating to Winfrey that he’d receive a harsher sentence if the plea deal was passed on. “This opportunity is going away,” she said. “Go to trial and you get convicted there’s not going to be any of me being concerned about when you parole out. … Whatever they say you’re guilty of I’m going to sentence you, and I’m not going to worry about when you get out of jail because it’s not my concern.” The judge also said that her reputation “is not that I’m an easy judge.”
The court’s majority opinion found that the judge’s comments rendered Winfrey’s guilty plea “involuntary.” The dissenting opinion also agreed that the judge “crossed the line” and “impliedly threatened” Winfrey. Winfrey will be held in custody as his case returns to courts, where he’ll have the opportunity at a trial or another plea deal.
Police say that Winfrey told investigators that he shot the rapper’s bus to gain higher gang status. It was previously reported that Young Thug and Birdman were “involved in a conspiracy” to kill Wayne on his bus. Thug, Birdman, and Winfrey were all sued by Wayne’s bus driver over the shooting.