Justice has been served for Nicki Minaj’s former stage manager.
Nicki Minaj reacted with shock and sadness in 2015 when it was announced that De’Von Andre Pickett had been killed. The 29-year-old was in Philadelphia at the time to assisted the “Yikes” rapper with her upcoming Pinkprint Tour which would take her throughout Europe and North America.
According to police, an argument had ensued outside the Che Bar and Grill which involved Pickett, Eric Parker who was also working on the tour, and a local man named Khaliyfa Neely. Both Pickett and Parker were stabbed during the altercation, with the latter sustaining serious wounds, while the former succumbed to his which had penetrated his torso.
“Two members of my team were stabbed last night in Philly,” Nicki had written on Twitter at the time. “One was killed. They had only been there for two days rehearsing for the tour.” She further lamented their death on Instagram, writing, “These guys flew into Philly for my tour rehearsals 2 days ago and were both stabbed last night. Unbelievable. Eric (on the right) is recovering. Another senseless act of violence that took the life of a great guy. So sad.”
It took more than one attempt to bring the killer to justice as another suspect, Pierce Boykin, was initially arrested and thought to be behind the crime after witnesses described someone matching his description. Four years after Pickett’s murder, a trial was held and the original witness changed his account, leading to a hung jury. Prosecutors dropped their charge of murder (though Boykin pleaded guilty to a remaining charge of aggravated assault and was sentenced to up to 23 months in prison) and redirected their case towards Neely whom they charged with third-degree murder, aggravated and simple assault, and possession of an instrument of crime.
According to ABC News, he has now been convicted of third-degree murder and will wait to hear his sentencing on April 24th, with 25 years behind bars a possibility.
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#Rp @myfabolouslife – these guys flew into Philly for my tour rehearsals 2 days ago and were both stabbed last night. #RIPDAYDAY condolences to your family. Unbelievable. Eric (on the right) is recovering. Another senseless act of violence that took the life of a great guy. So sad.