March 14, 2008 / 7:14 PM / in 10 years

At trial, woman says rapper Remy Ma shot her

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rapper Remy Ma discovered a wad of cash missing from her purse after a night out in New York and shot the woman she believed was the thief, the victim testified at the rapper’s assault trial on Friday.

<p>Rapper Remy Ma (L) arrives at the Manhattan Criminal Court after returning from lunch in New York City, March 10, 2008. REUTERS/Joshua Lott</p>

The Grammy-nominated artist, whose real name is Remy Smith, is accused of assault, witness intimidation and other charges for shooting Makeda Barnes-Joseph in the abdomen after discovering $3,000 was missing from her purse.

Smith faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison if she is convicted.

Barnes-Joseph, a 23-year-old acquaintance of Smith’s held the rapper’s purse briefly during the evening.

Barnes-Joseph testified that Smith was angry and carrying a black and silver gun when she entered the driver’s side of her car about 3:30 a.m. on July 14, 2007. As the two struggled over Barnes-Joseph’s purse, Barnes-Joseph said she tried to calm Smith down.

“I knew that she was making a scene. I didn’t think she was going to shoot me, but she did. By the time she got in the car, she was in so much rage,” Barnes-Joseph said.

A bullet pierced Barnes-Joseph’s colon and hit her rectum. She spent three weeks in the hospital.

Smith’s lawyer, Ivan Fisher, called the shooting accidental and asked Barnes-Joseph if she was exaggerating the facts in order to win a large sum of money in a separate civil lawsuit filed against Smith.

The civil suit seeks at least $10 million dollars from Smith and others.

“I never had a civil suit before. I don’t know what’s helpful,” Barnes-Joseph said.

Smith, a Bronx native who lives in New Jersey, won the 2005 BET award for best female hip-hop artist and was nominated for a Grammy in 2004 when she performed with Terror Squad for “Lean Back.”

Editing by Daniel Trotta

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