Waka Flocka Flame acquitted of gun charges in Atlanta


BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene

In October 2014, Waka Flocka Flame was arrested at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for carrying a concealed weapon , among other charges.

On Thursday afternoon – after a four-day trial - the Atlanta rapper legally known as Juaquin James Malphurs was acquitted of all charges in a Clayton County courthouse.

Malphurs’ attorney, Drew Findling, said a jury found the rapper not guilty on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a firearm in a government facility after deliberating for fewer than 30 minutes.

On the day of his arrest, Malphurs told TSA officials at the airport that he was unaware he was traveling with a gun because he had accidentally picked up the backpack of his then-fiancée, now-wife Tammy Rivera, in his haste to get to the airport.

“As soon as he got stopped, he said that the gun was not his and that he had packed his wife’s backpack on his way to a performance in Houston; they were staying in a hotel before moving into a new house,” Findling said.

Findling said one of the best pieces of evidence to corroborate Malphurs’ story was a TMZ photo that showed the couple at an earlier date walking around the airport and sporting identical backpacks.

Malphurs, 30, did not testify at the trial, but Rivera, a licensed gun owner, did.

The case originally started with five counts, which would have carried a sentence of a year each. By the time the case was presented to the jury, it was knocked down to two counts and a 24-month sentence if convicted.

Malphurs is headed to Panama City, Fla., where he is scheduled to perform Thursday night.

Follow the AJC Music Scene on Twitter and Facebook.


Reader Comments


Next Up in Atlanta Music Scene

'Selena: The Series': Netflix announces new show about Selena Quintanilla
'Selena: The Series': Netflix announces new show about Selena Quintanilla

A new series about slain Tejano icon Selena Quintanilla is heading to Netflix in 2020, the streaming service announced Tuesday. According to a Netflix press release, the scripted drama, produced by Campanario Entertainment, is "a coming-of-age story following Selena as her dreams come true and all the heart-wrenching and life-changing choices...
Listen: 53 Days Until Super Bowl 53
Listen: 53 Days Until Super Bowl 53

Listen now or open in iTunes or Google Play: There are just 53 days until Super Bowl 53 kicks off at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. And in just a few weeks, we’ll learn which teams will take the field in the new stadium. AJC music reporter and avid football fan Melissa Ruggieri chats about concerts from artists such as Ludacris...
MLS Cup featuring Atlanta United’s win draws best TV ratings since 1997
MLS Cup featuring Atlanta United’s win draws best TV ratings since 1997

The MLS Cup victory by the Atlanta United over Portland on Saturday night drew the biggest TV audience in at least 20 years, according to Nielsen Media Research. The game aired on Fox nationally and brought in 1.56 million overnight viewers. That’s nearly double from the number who watched a year earlier and the most since at least 1997, the...
Some vegetables easily tolerate cold weather
Some vegetables easily tolerate cold weather

Q: My cabbage and lettuce crops are looking great even though we have had colder than normal weather. What range can they stand before being frozen out? Robert Hobgood, Cartersville A: It is tough to predict how cold temperatures will affect vegetables. Much depends on how the plants were preconditioned. For example, if broccoli has been...
How to use winter white for a bright, minimalist look
How to use winter white for a bright, minimalist look

White has long been viewed as a formal color, typically reserved for seldom-used living and sitting rooms. These days, those looking for a light, bright and minimalist look are choosing winter white. Unlike stark, bright white, winter white has cream and taupe properties that can serve as the ideal foundation color for a neutral color palette. If you...
More Stories