Khaliyfa Neely fatally stabbed Devon Andre Pickett, 29, outside a Philadelphia bar in 2015. Last week, he was convicted on charges of third-degree murder, aggravated assault, simple assault and possession of an instrument of crime, a press release stated on Friday, via PEOPLE.
Pickett was preparing to go on tour with Minaj at the time of the tragic incident. According to the inquirer.com, Pickett’s friend Eric Reese was also stabbed four times after a fight with Neely and Pierce Boykin over a woman, according to trial testimony.
“Two members of my team were stabbed last night in Philly,” Nicki Minaj wrote on Twitter in February 2015. “One was killed. They had only been there for two days rehearsing for the tour.”
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#Rp @myfabolouslife – these guys flew into Philly for my tour rehearsals 2 days ago and were both stabbed last night. #RIPDAYDAY condolences to your family. Unbelievable. Eric (on the right) is recovering. Another senseless act of violence that took the life of a great guy. So sad.
The “Queen” rapper called the stabbings “another senseless act of violence that took the life of a great guy” in an Instagram post.
Neely’s first trial in 2019 ended in a mistrial. District Attorney Larry Krasner later sought a retrial “based on solid evidence.”
“It is our duty to persist in the pursuit of justice, even in the face of challenges,” said Krasner in the release. “I credit Assistant District Attorneys Adam Geer and Ed Jaramillo for remaining committed to securing justice in this 2015 murder.”
Krasner continued, “My office continues vigorously but fairly prosecuting individuals who commit serious offenses so they are prevented from further endangering the public. As always, I thank the jury for their service.”
According to ABC News, Neely faces up to 25 years in prison for the crime.
“I’m really appreciative that the jury took the time and approached a really difficult case with an open mind, and looked at all the facts and agreed that the defendant was responsible,” said Assistant District Attorney Adam Geer.
Of Pickett, Geer said: “It became clear to us that he was a special presence and a special person to his group of friends. He was always joking and making sure everyone was having a good time. We just hope this helps his family begin to heal.”
Neely is expected to be sentenced on April 24.
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