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Hip-Hop Podcaster Indicted for Murder in Irving Plaza Shooting

By  Noah  Hurowitz and Teddy Grant | July 13, 2017 3:58pm 

 Taxstone, a popular and controversial podcast host, was arrested in connection to the May 25 shooting at Irving Plaza that killed one and wounded three others.
Taxstone, a popular and controversial podcast host, was arrested 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 podcaster was indicted Thursday for the murder of a rapper's bodyguard during a wild shootout at a T.I. concert at Irving Plaza last year.

Taxstone, whose legal name is Daryl Campbell, was charged with second degree murder for the fatal shooting of Ronald McPhatter, 33, during a May 25, 2016, confrontation between Taxstone and Troy Ave, the Crown Heights rapper who sometimes hired McPhatter as a bodyguard, prosecutors said.

He pleaded not guilty during a Thursday afternoon hearing.

The charges came more than a year after the chaotic brawl inside a VIP room at the Union Square venue that left McPhatter dead and Troy Ave wounded along and two bystanders.

►READ MORE: Taxstone Pleads Guilty to Federal Weapons Charges in Irving Plaza Shooting

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Taxstone and Troy Ave had a well-publicized feud for months before the shooting, with the podcaster routinely mocking the rapper and challenging him to try his luck in a fight, statements federal prosecutors later used against him.

Troy Ave, who was shot in the leg that night, was arrested the next day on attempted murder and weapons charges after police released video of the rapper dashing out of the VIP area and firing off a shot from a handgun as bystanders dove for cover.

Taxstone was arrested more than half a year later, after investigators linked him to the murder weapon. He pleaded guilty to federal weapons charges in June and is currently awaiting sentencing. 

Rumors began swirling about Taxstone's involvement immediately after the shooting, but he wasn't charged until January, when investigators linked him to the gun.

No one had been charged with McPhatter's murder at the time, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Hagan Scotten repeatedly accused Taxstone of firing the fatal shot and told a judge in January that a witness was prepared to testify that the podcaster had fired the fatal shot.

Lawyers for Taxstone and Troy Ave did not immediately respond to requests for comment.