Snoop's attorney says he's bowing out of proceedings
UPDATE, 2:55 p.m.: How quickly things change: Gardner now says that he plans to withdraw as Pearson's attorney. The Sun spoke with Salaam Id-deen, a friend and music collaborator with Pearson, who is upset with Gardner's handling of the case - specifically referencing the YouTube video - and says he is out as Pearson's attorney. Reached for comment, Gardner confirmed that he plans to bow out, but said that it was because he was fed up with dealing with the actress' camp. Id-deen, meanwhile, claims Pearson has reached a plea deal with prosecutors and that her release was imminent, but Gardner said prosecutors have not budged on their position that she be held without bond, let alone released on lesser charges. Gardner said he would remain on the case until the actress has secured new representation.
UPDATE 2, 4:20 p.m. Criminal defense attorney Benjamin Sutley confirms that he will be representing Pearson in future criminal proceedings. While Gardner has been pushing to get her bail reduced, Sutley says that seems unlikely. Pearson will likely celebrate her 31st birthday behind bars. "It would have to be new information taht wasn't considered at the first hearing, and there's nothing really substantial to bring up," Sutley said. "We're just focused on the merits of the case."
ORIGINAL POST: The attorney for jailed "Wire" actress Felicia "Snoop" Pearson said the charges against her are some of the "easiest" prosecutors can bring in a drug case, and defended a video posted to YouTube encouraging fans to send her letters at the city detention center.
In an interview with The Sun's Kevin Richardson on Monday evening, attorney Paul Gardner said Pearson "wants to make sure her fans know that she did not do anything. She's not selling drugs, she's not aiding and abetting, she's not engaging in any conspiracy to possess or sell drugs."
"The allegation is that she's on the phone talking about money," Gardner said. "That's something 99 percent of Americans are engaged in today. It can be construed any way ... That's one of the easiest things a prosecutor can allege in ensnaring a group of people."
Last week, Gardner, who is trying to get Pearson's no-bail status revised, released a "Free Snoop" video with shout-outs from rappers in town for a concert. The video, which has 3,000 views, also drew a few negative comments. One person said it was "blatant self-promotion" for Gardner.
For his part, Gardner says he first discussed the video with Pearson, who endorsed putting it on YouTube. "I'm trying to lift her spirits and give her encouragement. I wish more attorneys would do stuff like that."
[Side note: Is that Snoop tweeting from jail?]
The actress is alleged to have provided money to a heroin organization, and was taken into custody among dozens of people locked up earlier this month as part of a DEA/Baltimore police investigation. She's facing state charges.
Gardner, a corporate entertainment lawyer, has handled few criminal cases in recent years, according to court records. Pearson's is the first he has taken since May 2010, and he says Pearson's New York management sent an attorney to meet with her. Is Gardner in danger of losing his client?
"I welcome anybody to come and help out," he said. "I'm not territorial. At the end of the day, Snoop is the one that needs help. I'm here in my office, I get to go home. I can have escargot. ... I can grab a milkshake. It's Snoop's life and liberty that's at stake."