NJ Court Upholds Conviction of Max B in Fort Lee Hotel Murder
A NJ Court upheld the murder conviction of a once rising Harlem rapper who is serving a 75-year term for masterminding a deadly robbery at a Fort Lee hotel six years ago.
Charly Wingate, better known as “Max B,” was convicted after prosecutors argued during a trial that he sent his stepbrother, Kelvin Leerdam, and his girlfriend, Gina Conway, to the Holiday Inn on Route 4 to commit the robbery.
The two targets of the robbery, David Taylor and Allan Plowden, had been seen a few days earlier in Harlem, driving expensive cars and showing off lots of cash.
Prosecutors argued that Conway and Leerdam went to the hotel at Wingate’s behest and confronted the two men. Leerdam fatally shot Taylor during the confrontation, they said.
Both Wingate and Leerdam were convicted in the trial, and Leerdam is now serving a sentence of life plus 35 years.
Conway, who pleaded guilty for her role in the robbery and testified against the two men, was sentenced to 15 years.
Wingate and Leerdam appealed their conviction, alleging trial errors and prosecutorial missteps. An appeals panel, however, upheld their convictions in a detailed 52-page opinion on Thursday.