MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Prosecutors have dropped murder charges against a Brooklyn rapper who was accused killing a man in fight over a parking spot in Miami Beach.
The incident was cited by supporters of a Miami Beach referendum that would have curtailed alcohol sales at outdoor venues along Ocean Drive. The referendum failed to pass in November.
Miami Beach police had said that 19-year-old Jeffery Alexander shot and killed Ladarian Phillips on May 28 along Ocean Drive during Urban Beach Weekend.
Court records show that the charges were quietly dropped in October after Alexander spent several months in jail. Alexander recently posted a photo of himself in a prison jumpsuit on Instagram, celebrating the release of his new album.
"They tried to count me out, but I’m too blessed. The General is home, back to business," Alexander wrote on Instagram in early November.
The Miami Herald first reported the dropped charges.
Police said Alexander, who goes by several stage names, including 22Gz and Tutu Blicky, was a passenger inside a BMW when its driver tried to parallel park near a gold Buick.
Police said the BMW struck the Buick several times, prompting the Buick's owner, Edward Ellis, and his friend, Phillips, to confront the people inside the BMW.
The argument escalated and someone inside the BMW shot Ellis and Phillips several times, police said. Phillips later died of his wounds, but Ellis survived.
Police said the BMW sped away from the scene and crashed through two Miami Beach patrol cars. Police said they attempted to stop the BMW again, and two officers fired several shots at the car. The driver was killed and Alexander and two other passengers were eventually arrested.
But prosecutors found that the driver, who has never been identified by police, was actually the gunman and dropped the charges against Alexander.
Ellis had told police that Alexander was the gunman.
“However, physical evidence and statements of other witnesses contradict what the surviving victim states,” the prosecutors wrote in a memo, according to the Herald.
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