‘The Best Resolution’: Why Rick Ross didn’t end up facing a jury

Rick Ross sits on a bench in the courtroom shortly before the beginning of his pretrial hearing. (Justin Fedich)

Rick Ross sits on a bench in the courtroom shortly before the beginning of his pretrial hearing. (Justin Fedich)

Rick Ross’s career could’ve been over. He also could have walked away a completely free man.

Both sides, fearing the worst, came to an agreement on only the second day of a hearing that was scheduled to take up the whole week. The plea deal was finalized late on Tuesday at the Fayette County Court House, but, according to Ross’s attorney Steven Sadow and District Attorney Ben Coker, the discussion of a potential plea deal had begun the weekend prior. As the case creeped closer to a possible trial, Sadow was wary that Ross could be putting himself in a potentially dangerous situation if there was any chance he would be convicted by a jury.

After looking at the history of past decisions of the Fayette County Court House, it was clear that if convicted, Ross would likely have been imprisoned for more than a few years. On the other side, Coker said the motion to suppress the evidence of the pistol used in the June 7, 2015 alleged attack could prove costly for the prosecution. Coker believed that was a key piece of evidence to support the state’s argument that Ross used the gun to intentionally harm the victims, and based on how the hearing had gone so far, Sadow’s side had a chance of succeeding in the motion to suppress that evidence.

Coker wasn’t willing to take that chance.

“Based on all the evidence that came forward, we felt like it was the best resolution to the case,” Coker said. “Had it not been, Judge (W. Fletcher) Sams wouldn’t have taken the plea.”

Coker said even the victims, Jonathan Zamudio and Leo Cereras, were not disappointed with an early resolution of the case. He said the victims had made inconsistent statements in their deposition of a civil case they had filed before the criminal case came to light.

Sadow was pleased with the plea deal for Ross and co-defendant Nadrian James, and he is confident Ross will be able to uphold the requirements listed in his five-year probation. Sadow was also very complimentary of how the opposition handled the case.

While there were many objections exchanged between him and prosecuting attorney Michele McCutcheon in the courtroom, Sadow, who has also represented other rappers including T.I . and Soulja Boy, has no objection to how things played out during either day of the hearings.

Ross wasn’t the only one enjoying the rest of his week outside of the courtroom.

“I think all sides are glad that it’s over,” Coker said.

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About

Justin Fedich is a reporter for the Fayette County News. He has been a reporter for various papers around the Southeast, including the Athens Banner-Herald and the Selma Times-Journal. Justin is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in digital and broadcast journalism and a sports media certificate.


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