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Podcaster With Beef Against Troy Ave Linked to Gun Used in Shooting: Feds

By Noah Hurowitz | January 17, 2017 3:14pm
 Taxstone, a popular and controversial pocast host, was arrested on Monday in connection to the May 25 shooting at Irving Plaza that killed one and wounded three others.
Taxstone, a popular and controversial pocast host, was arrested on Monday in connection to the May 25 shooting at Irving Plaza that killed one and wounded three others.
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MANHATTAN — A hip-hop podcast host known for his beef with rapper Troy Ave  was linked to the gun used in a fatal shooting at Irving Plaza, according to a complaint filed against him on Tuesday.

Daryl Campbell, 31, also known as Taxstone, was tied to the gun that killed Ronald McPhatter, 33, and wounded Troy Ave and two bystanders in a backstage area of a T.I. concert on May 25, 2016, prosecutors said.

No one has yet been charged with the murder of McPhatter, but Assistant District Attorney Hagan Scotten repeatedly referred to Campbell pulling the trigger first.

"He had a gun in his hand and he murdered someone," Scotten said in court on Tuesday, arguing against releasing Campbell on bail.

Campbell, who is known for his prolific and profane Twitter presence and his kingmaking — and feud stoking — podcast Tax Season, was arrested Monday and was arraigned in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday afternoon.

He was held on $500,000 bail with a number of restrictions on his movement.

Campbell, who has previously been convicted of armed robbery, was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and receiving a firearm by interstate commerce after investigators tracked the handgun used in the shooting to a man in Florida, who told police he had sold the gun to an associate of Campbell.

The handgun — a semiautomatic, 9-mm Kel-Tec pistol — was found on the night of the shooting in a hidden compartment in the van used to take Troy Ave to the hospital.

Investigators found traces of Campbell’s DNA on the base of the magazine, indicating that he had likely been the one to load it, according to the complaint.

Prosecutors used statements that Campbell made on his podcast, including times he repeatedly mocked Troy Ave, whose real name is Roland Collins. In one, he doubted Troy Ave's willingness to open fire on a rival.

“I can protect myself as a man, so I’m not thinking about rolling with six goons,” prosecutors quoted Campbell in the statements made prior to the shooting.

“When I see you walking up with six dudes, bang-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba...I want to embarrass somebody, and that’s why I started bullying Troy Ave, you know what I mean?”

Prosecutors asked for Campbell to be held without bail, citing his felony record, his self-proclaimed past as a member of the Bloods street gang and difficulty investigators have had getting witness testimony from the Irving Plaza shooting.

Campbell has been aware of the looming charges since at least Jan. 3 when, according to his lawyer Kenneth Montgomery, a tactical NYPD team showed up at the door of his aunt's East New York home but declined to arrest him. 

"He's been in Philly, he's been in Atlanta, he's been in Los Angeles, he flew to Jamaica and to Europe, but he always came back to his aunt's home in East New York," Montgomery said. "He didn't flee then and he won't now."

Judge Andrew Peck set bail at $500,000, but Campbell will be confined to his home except to record his podcast and meet with attorneys and will have to wear an ankle monitor.

Speaking with reporters after the hearing, Montgomery estimated Campbell would be bailed out within a week. His next court date was set for Feb. 16.

According to investigators, Campbell was seen on surveillance video entering the green room on May 25 prior to the incident and fleeing shortly after shots were fired, with a wounded Troy Ave in hot pursuit.

Footage released to the public shows McPhatter dashing out of the VIP room, followed by Troy Ave, hobbling with bloodstains blooming on his pants, who squeezed off at least one shot in the direction that investigators said Campbell had fled moments before.

Troy Ave was arrested the next day and charged with attempted murder and weapons possession. He is currently free on $500,000 bail.

He and his lawyers have repeatedly spoken of another shooter in the room and argued that Collins wrestled the gun away from somebody else and fired in self defense.

In a statement on Tuesday, his lawyer John Stella said the charges against Campbell will help illuminate what led to the violence that night.

“As we have said since May 25, 2016, Roland Collins (“Troy Ave”) did not enter Irving Plaza with a handgun the night of the TI concert,” he said.

“I view the charges brought today before the (federal court) as a positive step in the direction of true justice for what occurred at Irving Plaza that night.”