NEW YORK - A lawyer for G-Unit rapper Tony Yayo said he will try to have charges against his client dropped after prosecutors revealed that a prison inmate admitted he, not Yayo, slapped a music rival's 14-year-old son.
Yayo, whose real name is Marvin Bernard, was charged with misdemeanour assault, harassment and endangering the welfare of a child after he was accused of slapping James Rosemond on a Manhattan sidewalk in March 2007.
The boy is the son of Jimmy "Henchman" Rosemond, recording executive and manager of Yayo'S rival rapper, The Game.
Yayo, 29, has pleaded not guilty and is free on $5,000 bail. He has "adamantly rejected" the prosecution's offer of nine months in jail for a guilty plea, his lawyer Scott Leemon said.
Leemon said Lowell Fletcher, a Yayo acquaintance, told police during a jailhouse interview months after the assault that it was he who slapped the youth and Yayo pulled him away.
"They disclosed it today, and we plan to file a motion for dismissal," Leemon said Thursday.
Assistant district attorney Daryl Reed told the court his office learned about the statement last week.
Fletcher's lawyer, Robert Macedonio, confirmed that police say his client gave them a statement that seems to clear Yayo.
The lawyer said the statement taken from Fletcher in August was "in violation of his constitutional rights" because police were not supposed to question Fletcher without his lawyer being present.
Macedonio said his client is doing a 2 1/2-year sentence for drug possession.
The judge set a tentative trial date for March 31.