Max B Gets 75 Years
A rising Harlem rapper was sentenced Thursday to 75 years in prison for masterminding a deadly robbery at a Fort Lee hotel four years ago. His stepbrother received a life term plus 35 years for his part in the scheme.
Charly Wingate, better known in hip-hop circles as “Max B,” was convicted of felony murder, kidnapping, armed robbery and several other offenses in a June trial in which witnesses testified that he planned the September 2006 robbery at the Holiday Inn on Route 4.
His co-defendant and stepbrother, Kelvin Leerdam, was convicted of the same counts after jurors found that he shot one of the robbery victims, David Taylor.
Both Wingate and Leerdam looked resigned when Superior Court Judge Harry G. Carroll sentenced them in Hackensack. Wingate said he was not happy with his attorney, Gerald Saluti, and fired him during the hearing just before he received his sentence.
His mother, Sharon Wingate, said he will appeal the conviction.
“We will be back,” she said.
This is devastating news for Max B’s fan-base, which is pretty extensive. The outcome of the case never looked good to begin with, but Max B kept hope alive and was confident that he would be vindicated in due time. After today’s sentencing, and pending any appeal attempts, that doesn’t appear to be in the cards for the Silver Surfer.
I’m no lawyer (yet) but I think the way attorney Gerald Saluti handled his client was terrible. From the get-go I wondered why Max B was keeping such a high-profile in the ‘hood DVD’ scene. He should have made sure his client was on his best behavior at all times, because his occupation as a gangster rapper automatically put him at a disadvantage to begin with. High-profile individuals accused of serious crimes must go on aggressive image-rebuilding campaigns. Word to Bowtie Chris Brown.
At the end of the day, if he’s guilty masterminding a deadly robbery, justice has been served. I know Biggaveli loyalists don’t want to hear that, but those are serious crimes he was accused of committing.
However, if he’s indeed innocent, I hope the appeals process doesn’t betray him.