NEW YORK — A rapper once signed to a Jay-Z-run label admitted Wednesday to playing a role in a deadly stabbing in an apartment building lobby.
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Tru Life, born Robert Rosado, pleaded guilty to gang assault in a June 2009 attack that killed Christopher Guerrero and wounded another man, Jason Gray. The rapper’s brother Marcus Rosado pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the attack, which police said spiraled out of an argument at a nightclub.
The 34-year-old rapper’s plea deal calls for eight years in prison. His 39-year-old brother is expected to get 10 years at their sentencing, set for March 15.
Through their lawyers, the brothers expressed sorrow for what they called a tragic incident.
“They wish to express their deepest sympathies to the Guerrero family, and it is their hope that by accepting responsibility, they can bring some measure of closure to the family,” said the attorneys, Alan M. Abramson and Joel S. Cohen.
The Rosados chased Guerrero and Gray into the lobby, where Guerrero was stabbed in the abdomen and Gray suffered a cut that sliced an artery, according to court documents. They got outside and collapsed on the ground, court documents said.
A product of Manhattan’s Lower East Side who made a name for himself on mixtapes, Tru Life secured a spot in Jay-Z’s stable of rappers in a scene chronicled in a 2005 New York Times profile of Jay-Z’s life as then-head of Def Jam Records.
“Everybody can get a record deal, but you can’t buy a star, you can’t buy charisma, and I got that,” Tru Life told the rap superstar-turned-record executive.
Tru Life was soon being groomed to be a linchpin of Roc-La Familia, a Latin-oriented arm of Roc-A-Fella Records, a label Jay-Z co-founded.
But Tru Life also became known for feuds with other rappers, including duo Mobb Deep and Harlem-based rapper Jim Jones.
Tru Life no longer has a recording deal, Abramson said.