Rapper ‘Rick Ross’ back in court today, tomorrow
William Leonard Roberts, II poses with a friend outside the Fayette County Justice Center around noon Wednesday during a lunch break. (Staff photo by Danny Harrison)

Rapper ‘Rick Ross’ back in court today, tomorrow

William Leonard Roberts, II poses with a friend outside the Fayette County Justice Center around noon Wednesday during a lunch break. (Staff photo by Danny Harrison)
William Leonard Roberts, II poses with a friend outside the Fayette County Justice Center around noon Wednesday during a lunch break. (Staff photo by Danny Harrison)

Rap star William Leonard Roberts, II, who performs under the stage name “Rick Ross”, and his bodyguard Nadrian Lateef James were back in Fayette County Superior Court Wednesday morning trying to get out of their Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Assault and Kidnapping charges that date back to an alleged June 7, 2015 incident on Roberts’ northern Fayette County estate.

According to Fayette County Sheriff’s Office reports, Roberts and James brutally attacked two groundskeepers who had been staying overnight at a guest house on that estate, which is located on Hwy. 279 near Hwy. 138 and once belonged to boxing legend Evander Holyfield. They were both indicted by a grand jury on Feb. 24.

The legal defense team for Roberts and James is asking Judge Tommy Hankinson for immunity from prosecution on those charges. The defendants maintain that they are not guilty and that they acted in self-defense. Through documents filed by attorneys, they also say the alleged victims are actually just trying to carry out “a money grab”.

While the Fayette County District Attorney’s Office is seeking to put Roberts and James away on the criminal charges, attorneys for the victims have also filed a civil lawsuit against Roberts and James in Fayette County State Court.

State Court Judge Jason Thompson has said he will not hear the civil case until the criminal case is resolved.

Unlike certain other hearings to do with this criminal case, Roberts and James showed up for Wednesday’s hearing, both dressed conservatively in blue suits, and both keeping quiet as their lawyers did the talking.

Only a few fans recognized Roberts as he and his small entourage left the courtroom at the lunch break, and he stopped for a few photos before continuing to his car in the parking lot.

Roberts and James were expected back in Hankinson’s courtroom as the hearing continues at 1:30 p.m. Their attorney said he expects the hearing to continue into tomorrow.

Indeed, after two hours, the defense attorneys working at a snail’s pace had only by then managed to get an oversized photo of Roberts’ estate onto an easel and to begin pointing out where the main house is located in relation to the guest house, which is where the assaults allegedly took place.

Danny Harrison

Danny Harrison, a 1992 Fayette High School graduate, began his journalism career with Fayette County News in 1995. After taking several leaves of absence to pursue journalism and Christian ministry opportunities, including a few out of state and overseas, he returned full-time to Fayette County News in August 2014. Harrison earned a bachelor's degree in pastoral ministry in 2009 while serving as a missionary journalist in England and Western Europe.