Brooklyn student faces 25 years in prison for shooting into crowd of girls who staged fight for social media

Rahmel Ashby, 17, of Brooklyn in New York, (pictured playing for Grand Street Campus Wolves in October) was arrested in April 2014 after he allegedly shot a gun into a crowd wounding three people

A high school football star faces up to 25 years in jail for allegedly firing into a crowd of teenage girls who staged a fight to post on social media.

Rahmel Ashby, 17, of Brooklyn in New York, was arrested in April 2014 after he reportedly shot a gun into a crowd, wounding three people.

The fight was between Ashby’s sister, Nyesha, and other girls and consisted of three rounds of fist-fighting, hair-pulling and biting.

Ashby, who plays for Grand Street Campus High School, allegedly stepped in when his sister was outnumbered.

The fight was between Ashby's sister, Nyesha, and other girls and consisted of three rounds of fist-fighting, hair-pulling and biting

The court heard how the girls had been bickering on Facebook about who won a fight that had been filmed earlier in the day and so decided to meet up for a second brawl.

They agreed to have a rematch and met on Waverly Avenue, in Fort Greene.

In her opening statements at Brooklyn Supreme court, Assistant District Attorney Bernarda Villalona said: ‘Multiple people are fighting, beating up the defendant’s sister. The defendant didn’t try to break it up or say ‘Stop!’ 

‘He punched one and her boyfriend Rogelio King came over not knowing the defendant had a gun on him and he shot him.’

Eight shots were fired wounding King, Monay Langhorne and Quinesha Reeves, said Villalona.

The decision to let Ashby play has sparked fury among some parents, while fans and fellow students are supporting the player (pictured in action against the Kennedy Knights last September)

Ashby’s attorney Ken Montgomery urged the jurors to pay attention to the testimony and question the credibility of the prosecutor’s witnesses, the New York Daily News reported.

He said: ‘You’re going to hear a lot names. These are not young women preparing for college, working or taking the SATs. There were 10 to 12 kids out there fighting, two were adults.

‘A 40-year-old man is there and Rogelio, he’s 26 or 27 years old and dates a teenager.

‘On May 2, Rogelio and his girlfriend were shown photographs of the person who did it and they didn’t identify.

‘Two days later, Rogelio goes back to the precinct and says it’s him and there it was, a done deal. That’s the credible evidence they want you to use to convict.’

Following his arrest, Ashby made bail but on October 20 last year he was taken into custody for a second time after police say they found him carrying a loaded .380 semi-automatic handgun.

Once again, he was bailed – this time on a $500,000 bond – in time to play for Grand Street Campus High School’s big championship game against Erasmus Hall. Ashby’s team won 28-26.

The decision to allow him back on the field sparked fury among parents, with the mother of one Curtis High School player, which lost to the Wolves last month, saying she was terrified her son was playing against someone charged with attempted murder.

‘The idea that my child is out there with him actually scares me,’ the woman told NY1. ‘Something has to change.’

A high school referee from Brooklyn, agreed Ashby should not have been allowed to play.

The 17-year-old high school football star returned to the field to play in the city championships in Yankee stadium (stock picture) while on bail for an attempted murder charge

‘These are serious charges,’ the ref, who would not be named, told NY Daily News. ‘Other students aren’t allowed to play for a lot less.’

But the fans have defended the player.

Renaldo Charles, 17, from Long Island, said: ‘Whatever happens outside the high school stays out. It should not affect his games. He will have his day in court.’

The city Department of Education has strict rules regarding the eligibility of students to play.

Athletes must have both passing grades and a 90 per cent school attendance to take part in a game, but the rules say nothing about criminal investigations.

Shawn Klein, a philosopher specializing in the ethics in sport, argued that defendants are innocent until proven guilty and that a blanket ban against players facing criminal allegations could be unfair.

‘He could be innocent, and if he’s innocent and then deprived of this opportunity to play in a championship game, it could have a long-lasting impact on his life’ he told NY1.

Source: The DailyMail

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