Gun­man who killed rap­per ‘Young Farr’ pleads guilty

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - NEWS - By Su­laiman Ab­dur-Rahman Su­laiman@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @sab­durr on Twit­ter

TREN­TON » The gun­man who shot and killed Tren­ton hip-hop lyri­cist Ja­far “Young Farr” Lewis over four years ago has now fessed up, abruptly end­ing his pre­sump­tion of in­no­cence in a lin­ger­ing homi­cide case that pre­vi­ously ended in a mis­trial.

Wayne Bush pleaded guilty last Fri­day to sec­ond­de­gree rea­son­able provo­ca­tion man­slaugh­ter for slay­ing the 26-year-old rap artist on Aug. 23, 2013.

“He still wanted to go to trial, but his fam­ily was very much in fa­vor of him tak­ing the of­fer,” de­fense at­tor­ney John Fur­long said of his client Bush.

Un­der the plea agree­ment, the 39-year-old Bush could re­ceive any­where from fiveto-10 years of state in­car­cer­a­tion at his sen­tenc­ing hear­ing, which is sched­uled for Dec. 1. The state will likely re­quest the max­i­mum 10year sen­tence, but Fur­long said he will rec­om­mend the judge to im­pose the min­i­mum five-year prison sen­tence.

Bush was orig­i­nally charged with mur­der, pos­ses­sion of a weapon for an un­law­ful pur­pose and un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of a weapon on al­le­ga­tions he armed him­self with a pis­tol and fired a kill shot that ripped through Lewis’s skull on Mid­dle Rose Street near Brunswick Av­enue in Tren­ton’s North Ward.

Twanna Robin­son heard two gun­shots that night and then saw Bush stand­ing above her fi­ancé Lewis, who was ly­ing mo­tion­less on the ground. “You go­ing to jail!” she im­me­di­ately shouted at Bush, who fled from the scene in a ve­hi­cle, ac­cord­ing to Robin­son’s wit­ness tes­ti­mony.

At Bush’s ini­tial mur­der trial in March, Mercer County Su­pe­rior Court Judge Robert Billmeier de­clared a mis­trial af­ter the state’s fi­nal wit­ness gave po­ten­tially in­flam­ma­tory tes­ti­mony on the wit­ness stand. The state was pre­par­ing to retry the case, but then Bush fell into more le­gal trou­bles that gave him an in­cen­tive to take a plea deal.

Bush, who has been in­car­cer­ated at the Mercer County Cor­rec­tion Cen­ter since sur­ren­der­ing Aug. 30, 2013, was re-ar­rested Sept. 18 and charged with third-de­gree wit­ness tam­per­ing and fourth-de­gree con­tempt. He is ac­cused of re­cently con­tact­ing a wit­ness in his homi­cide case and ask­ing her about the wel­fare of her chil­dren and con­tact­ing the boyfriend of an­other wit­ness in vi­o­la­tion of a judge’s no-con­tact or­der.

Au­thor­i­ties say Bush was will­ing to of­fer some­thing of value to a wit­ness not to tes­tify against him. The new crim­i­nal charges have re­sulted in Bush be­ing jailed with­out bail on pre­trial de­ten­tion; he was pre­vi­ously be­ing held on high mone­tary bail on the mur­der charges.

Con­sid­er­ing that a trial by jury could have found Bush guilty of first-de­gree mur­der and con­sid­er­ing that Bush has ac­crued four years of jail credit, he ul­ti­mately de­cided to re­solve his homi­cide case by plead­ing guilty to sec­ond­de­gree pro­voked man­slaugh­ter in a deal that may also re­solve the wit­ness tam­per­ing case, ac­cord­ing to Fur­long.

The state has ob­tained a com­mu­ni­ca­tions data war­rant to ex­plore whether Bush has made any fur­ther con­tact with wit­nesses, but Fur­long said he is “con­fi­dent” the state will not find any such ev­i­dence.

“The state has said based on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to date, if noth­ing else comes out, they would be will­ing to let him plead guilty to con­tempt of court fourth-de­gree to run con­cur­rent to man­slaugh­ter,” Fur­long said.

If Bush is al­lowed to re­solve his pend­ing wit­ness tam­per­ing case by plead­ing guilty to fourth-de­gree con­tempt at his Dec. 1 sen­tenc­ing hear­ing, he would be sen­tenced to serve con­cur­rent terms not to ex­ceed 10 years. He would have to serve 85 per­cent of the man­slaugh­ter term and would be awarded four years of jail credit. Un­der that sce­nario, if a judge sen­tenced Bush to seven years of in­car­cer­a­tion, he would end up serv­ing less than two years in state prison for killing lo­cal hiphop sen­sa­tion Young Farr in cold blood.

Wayne Bush (left) and Ja­far “Young Farr” Lewis

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