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Witness Identified Podcaster in Fatal Irving Plaza Shooting, Report Says

By Noah Hurowitz | January 19, 2017 2:57pm
 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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CIVIC CENTER — Prosecutors have a witness of a deadly shootout at Irving Plaza in May who saw hip-hop podcaster Taxstone fire the fatal shot that killed Troy Ave's bodyguard, according to the Daily News.

Taxstone, whose legal name is Daryl Campbell, was ordered held without bail at a hearing on Wednesday after prosecutors told a judge that they had a witness who could testify that it was Taxstone who fired the shot that killed Ronald McPhatter during the melee at a T.I. concert on May 25, according to the Daily News and court records.

Campbell, 31, was arrested on Monday at his aunt's home in East New York after prosecutors linked him to the murder weapon using DNA evidence. Campbell, who has an extensive criminal record including a conviction for armed robbery, was charged with possession of a weapon by a felon and receiving a firearm by interstate commerce after investigators tracked the handgun used in the Troy Ave shooting to a man in Florida, who told police he had sold the gun to an associate of Campbell.

In a hearing on Wednesday prosecutors said they had a witness prepared to testify that Campbell had  fired at least one round that night, including the bullet that killed McPhatter, according to the Daily News.

Judge Andrew Peck initially agreed to release Campbell, 31, on $500,000 bail, on condition he submit to a slew of restrictions including home confinement and wearing an ankle monitor, but prosecutors appealed the bail package, arguing that Campbell’s gang ties and previous statements on his podcast of his willingness to commit acts of violence made him a threat to the community.

Prosecutors charged Campbell with being the owner of the handgun — a semiautomatic, 9-mm Kel-Tec pistol — used in the May 25 shooting at a T.I. concert at the Union Square concert hall that left one man dead and injured three others, including rapper Troy Ave, who also faces charges in the incident.

The gun was found on the night of the shooting in a hidden compartment in the van used to take Troy Ave to the hospital.

The chaotic shooting began in a second-floor VIP area in which prosecutors say both Campbell and Troy Ave were present, and prosecutors say the fatal shot that killed McPhatter was fired inside the green room.

Troy Ave, whose legal name is Roland Collins, was caught on video firing shots in the club and was arrested the next day on charges of attempted murder and weapons possession.

He has denied involvement in McPhatter's death and is currently free on $500,000 bail.

In light of the new information about witnesses willing to testify against Campbell, Judge Lewis Kaplan agreed to detain him without bail, according to the Daily News and court documents.

Campbell has not been charged with murder, but prosecutors have made multiple comments implicating him directly in McPhatter’s death, including a comment by Assistant US Attorney Hagan Scotten on Tuesday in which he said Campbell “had a gun in his hand and he murdered someone.”

Campbell, who rose to prominence through his prolific Twitter use and his podcast Tax Season, has long beefed with Troy Ave, whom he said received undeserved attention at the expense of other New York rappers.

In a tit-for-tat exchange of tweets, comments in interviews, and even a diss track from Troy Ave, the pair took shots at each other for months before the shooting last May.

In the federal complaint against Campbell, prosecutors referred to several of Campbell's earlier statements in which he spoke of his willingness to shoot at rivals.

“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?”

Campbell’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.