BR rapper, Lit Yoshi, held on $1.82 M bond, connected with gang-related shootings
A Baton Rouge rapper who investigators say is connected to a string of shootings between April of 2019 and July of this year was given a new bond of $1.8 million-plus Tuesday.
Lit Yoshi is the name that 21-year-old Mieyoshi Tyree Edwards goes by.
One of the shooting incidents Edwards was allegedly involved in left two adults and two children injured and authorities have described Edwards the "top enforcer" of a local gang.
"I am sick of what's going on in this community," state District Judge Tarvald Smith said after hearing what he called "very, very disturbing" testimony from Zac Woodring, a Baton Rouge police detective and ATF task force officer, and Lt. Scott Henning, an East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's homicide supervisor. With Edwards' family present, Smith told Edwards his relatives might soon be at his funeral if he didn't change his behavior.
Woodring testified at Edwards' bond hearing that the rapper is a member of the TBG, or Top Boy Gorilla, gang that has been feuding with the rival NBA (Never Broke Again) and BBG (Bottom Boy Gorilla) gangs.
"He runs with the group. They do shootings together," Woodring said as Edwards sat across the courtroom in an orange prison jumpsuit.
Woodring said the "very public online beef" between the gangs is "showing no signs of letting up."
Edwards has been formally charged in an April 2019 shooting on Highland Road at the AM Mart.
Edwards was allegedly one of the occupants of an SUV who fired at several gang members at the store. He is charged with illegally discharging a firearm from a vehicle.
Edwards was also was arrested in July for an April 6, 2020, shooting in the parking lot of the La Playa Apartment Complex on Hanks Drive.
He also faced charges in the previously mentioned July 4 shooting near the Mallard Crossing Apartment Complex on Greenwell Springs Road which sent four people who were inside of a car, including two young children, to the hospital.
Henning testified Tuesday that a man injured in the April 6 shooting is a well-known NBA gang member. The victims' vehicle in the July 4 shooting was similar to a car used by a high-ranking NBA member, he added.
Henning characterized Edwards as TBG's "top enforcer."
"He's either calling the shots on who is being targeted or he does the shootings," he said.
Edwards was arrested this month after East Baton Rouge sheriff's detectives traced the rented cars used in the April 6 and July 4 shootings to his live-in girlfriend, authorities said.
Two days after the July shooting, Edwards was found driving the Ford F-150 used in that shooting, and one of two firearms discovered in the truck was matched to ballistics found at the crime scene, an arrest report says.
Detectives also used rental car information and video surveillance to connect Edwards to the April 6 shooting, booking documents indicate.
Prosecutor Stuart Theriot told the judge during Tuesday's hearing that Edwards "poses a clear threat to the Baton Rouge community."
At the time of the April 6 and July 4 shootings, Edwards was out on a $150,000 bond set last year by state District Judge Beau Higginbotham in the April 2019 Highland Road shooting.
After Edwards' arrest in the two most recent shootings, state District Judge Bonnie Jackson set his bond at $1,160,000.
Then, Higginbotham placed a bond hold on him due to his new arrests.
All of the cases are now being handled by Judge Tarvald Smith, who set a combined bond of $1,820,000 on Tuesday. That amount included Smith raising the bond set by Jackson to $1,670,000.
If Edwards is able to post bond, he intends to live in south Florida, his attorneys said. Smith imposed an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew in the event Edwards is able to make bond.
Edwards will be allowed to record music but won't be allowed to make any social media postings, and firearms won't be allowed where he stays.
"Anything close to criminal activity ... the court will consider a violation," Smith warned. "I'm not playing."