Two men were imprisoned Friday in New York State Supreme Court for fatally shooting a Harlem rapper, A$AP Press, in the head back in 2016.
Chester Taylor, 37, and Darius Hastings, 37, were previously convicted of second-degree murder, first degree assault, and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Both men, who are from New York City, were ordered to spend 2o years to life in state prison.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement that Taylor and Hastings shot and killed a young Harlemite with “great ambitions, talent, and a bright future.”
“Thanks to the jury’s careful review of the evidence, both defendants were found to be responsible for his murder,” Bragg stated. “I hope that the sentences imposed today bring the victim’s family some form of peace.”
The 26-year-old victim, Pressie Taylor Jr., also known as A$AP Press, was a member of the Harlem-based hip-hop collective, A$AP Mob. The collective includes rappers such as A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg.
Taylor Jr. had contacted Taylor through a mutual friend on July 30, 2016 to rent a luxury car for a music video he was filming. Taylor ran an illegal car rental business through Instagram and offered Taylor Jr. two cars for $1,000, as proven in court. Taylor Jr. paid Taylor most of rental fee up front on Aug. 5. Taylor did not produce any cars for the video shoot.
Taylor Jr. continued to request that his money be returned, but Taylor refused. Taylor, who had allegedly grown irritated with Taylor Jr.’s demands, threatened him through text messages. Taylor called Hastings on Aug. 28 and both men drove to Taylor Jr.’s block in Harlem near West 137th Avenue and Lenox Avenue.
Hastings shot at Taylor Jr., who was hit in the back of the head. Taylor Jr. had initially survived the shooting, but a year and a half later, suffered a fatal seizure while at a music festival. The medical examiner had attributed the seizure to his 2016 head injury, according to the DA’s office.
“Although Pressie Taylor Jr. miraculously survived the shooting in its initial aftermath, his life was forever changed,” Bragg stated. “He made a valiant attempt at resuming his life and music career, but unfortunately, he succumbed to the effects of his serious injuries, depriving his family and community of a promising star.”