HOLLYWOOD HILLS—Prosecutors from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office indicated they have decided not to seek the death penalty against Corey Walker in the murder of rapper Pop Smoke who was killed in February 2020. Instead, Walker could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
On Tuesday, July 6, Walker was in court for an arraignment hearing when prosecutors announced their decision. The case was filed under the former District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s administration. Walker, 20, is being charged with murder, including the special circumstance allegation that the murder was committed during the commission of a robbery and burglary, along with gang and gun allegations.
Three other people involved in the crime have been charged with murder in juvenile court. The alleged shooter was a 15-year-old male, but Walker was the only adult suspect in the crime.
The rapper was shot and killed on February 19, 2020, at 2033 Hercules Drive. Pop Smoke was renting out the property which is owned by former “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” stars Teddi Mellencamp-Arroyave and her her husband Edwin Arroyave. Officers responded to a 911 call about four suspects attempting to break into the rapper’s house, and one of the suspects was armed with a gun.
Officers arrived shortly after and found the rapper, suffering from a gunshot wound, inside the home. He was transported to Cedars-Sinai hospital, where he died of injuries sustained. The suspects were seen wearing masks and fleeing the scene before detained by officers.
Pop Smoke, whose real name is Bashar Barakah Jackson, was shot and killed in the driveway where the four suspects were seen wearing black hoodies and ski masks.
The rapper posted the address of the home he was staying in earlier in the day via social media. He had been receiving gifts to congratulate him on his mix tape reaching #7 on the Billboard 200 chart on February 18, 2020. One of the gift bags he received showed off the address of the home where he was staying.
Investigators believe the incident was a robbery gone wrong. The rapper was recently won the 2021 Billboard Music Award for Top Billboard 200 Album. He was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance for “Dior.”
Written By Mary Kathryn Grill and Casey Jacobs