30 Years In Prison For The Gunman In The Fort Lee Rapper’s Robbery

The gunman who robbed rapper Safaree Samuels in Fort Lee in 2018. For stealing $180,000 in jewelry from the music star. He sentenced to 30 years in prison on Friday.

A Bergen County judge ruled that Tacuma Ashman, 43, will be sentenced. To at least 25 years in prison for multiple counts of armed robbery.

Prosecutors said the Irvington, New York resident is one of three conspirators. Who planned to rob the North Jersey rapper and VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop” star outside his Fort Lee apartment complex? According to the state, the theft prompted a high-speed chase across the George Washington Bridge. As the trio attempted to flee with the rapper’s valuables.

Two months earlier, a jury convicted Ashman on two counts of first-degree robbery, weapons possession, and resisting arrest. He is found not guilty of conspiracy and possessing a handgun without a permit.
The state sought a 31-year sentence for Ashman and a Bergen County judge. They nearly granted it, citing the “overwhelming” evidence against him.

“This is carefully planned armed robbery carried out over weeks and months,” Judge Christopher Kazlau said Friday.

Prosecutors claim the men planned the robbery for weeks, scanning Samuels’ Instagram account for images of high-end jewelry he wore in public, including a watch, bracelet, and ring worth more than $40,000. Authorities also discovered a GPS tracking device under the rapper’s car to track his movements so the crew knew when to strike, according to the state.

According to prosecutors, the heist mastermind by Shawn Harewood. A childhood friend of Samuels in Brooklyn. He later enlisted the help of Ashman and Carl Harry as henchmen. Knowing that the rapper would recognize his face.

In the trial, Harewood and Ashman were co-defendants, but a judge declared a mistrial for Harewood after his attorney withdrew from the case for personal reasons.

On Friday, Ashman told the court that his case should dismissed. The judge noted that he had rejected several plea deals, including a seven-year offer from prosecutors, instead choosing to risk his case in front of a jury.

“I’m not responsible for what the state accuses me of,” Ashman said.
Samuels did not attend the sentencing, but prosecutors said the robbery left him scarred after he moved from New York City to a more low-key area in Fort Lee to avoid the spotlight.

“He thought he’d be safe, and this shook his whole world,” Assistant Prosecutor Megan Kizzy said Friday.

Prosecutors said the three targeted Samuels as he returned home to The Modern, a luxury apartment building on Park Avenue in Fort Lee, in April 2018.

Two men, allegedly Ashman and Harry, approached Samuels from behind and wrestled with him, according to surveillance video from The Modern’s parking garage. According to the state, Ashman held the gun while they stole his belongings and then piled them into Harewood’s black Cadillac Escalade.

Officers were on their way to the scene. When they noticed a black Escalade with no license plates a few blocks away, according to authorities.

The Escalade allegedly sped across the George Washington Bridge into New York City at 80 mph, with the police hot on its tail.

During the chase, the Escalade collided with a concrete divider at the Henry Hudson Parkway South ramp. During the trial, dashcam footage showed three people jumping out of the truck and fleeing on foot after the crash. Harewood apprehends near 144th Street in Manhattan that night. Ashman apprehends by police in Newark several weeks later.

Prosecutors said they found Ashman’s driver’s license, cell phone, and a red hat. He wore it during the robbery inside the crashed car. Authorities also recovered Samuels’ wallet and jewelry.

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