A gunman who robbed rapper and reality TV star Safaree Samuels was sentenced to three decades in prison after rejecting a plea deal which would have seen him get a fraction of the time he got handed.
In 2018, the Love & Hip Hop star was robbed at gunpoint by three men in an incident captured on video.
One of the robbers, gunman Tacuma Ashman, 43, was sentenced to 30 years in prison and will serve at least 25 years before he is eligible for parole, according to NorthJersey.com.
Samuels reportedly had about $180,000 in jewelry stolen in the planned attack outside his home, and the theft led to a high-speed chase as the robbers fled with his possessions.
They ended up crashing into a divider on the highway and were later apprehended.
In November 2021, Ashman was found guilty of first-degree robbery along with charges of weapons possession and resisting arrest. He faced up to 50 years in prison before being handed his lengthy 30-year sentence.
Gunman rejected several plea deals
Ashman rejected several plea deals, including an offer from prosecutors which would have seen him handed a seven-year sentence. Instead, the gunman decided to risk a jury trial.
The man who prosecutors alleged was the mastermind of the robbery, Shawn Harewood, a childhood friend of Samuels, saw his case end in a mistrial.
Ashman also argued to the court that he should have received a mistrial.
“I’m not responsible for what the state is alleging against me,” he said.
Carl Harry, who prosecutors said was the third man involved, struck a plea deal and was handed 364 days in prison and five years of probation for a conspiracy charge, according to Yahoo News.
Prosecutors said the robbery was plotted weeks in advance, with the men monitoring Samuels’ Instagram account to identify high-value jewelry items that he owned.
Authorities also found a GPS tracking device under the reality TV star’s car, used to trace his whereabouts, prosecutors claimed.
Safaree emotionally recalled robbery hours after it occurred
Love and Hip Hop star Safaree reacted to the robbery shortly after it occurred. He was scheduled to appear on the Angie Martinez radio show and shared what happened.
“I just got robbed at gunpoint,” he said, fighting back tears. “A couple of hours ago, I just got robbed. Two dudes with guns just ran up on me, had me face down on the floor with a gun to my head. They just took everything.”
Samuels did not attend the sentencing, but prosecutors said the robbery traumatized him.
Since the robbery, the 40-year-old rapper has welcomed two children with Erica Mena.