A Baton Rouge judge refused Monday to revoke or increase a local rapper's $1.82 million bond on seven attempted first-degree murder counts after a prosecutor argued Lit Yoshi is treating his house arrest in south Florida as a "paid vacation."

State District Judge Tarvald Smith, however, added two hours to Mieyoshi Tyree Edwards' curfew in the Miami area, making it 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. rather than 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. EST.

The judge also said Edwards, 22, must confine his movements to a 10-mile radius of the confidential address where he is staying.

East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Stuart Theriot had argued during a hearing Monday that Edwards was violating the terms of his house arrest and curfew by moving around the Miami area late at night, going to the beach and even riding jet skis.

"This is not a paid vacation," Theriot told the judge.

Edwards’ attorney, Ron Haley, argued against a bond revocation or increase and said his client was merely confused over whether he was under strict 24-hour house arrest or a curfew.

Smith found that Edwards has committed technical violations of his bond conditions.

"Mr. Edwards, you sir are under house arrest," the judge sternly reminded him. "I have concerns about you being out in the Miami area, especially the South Beach area. You are not to go to Biscayne Bay, South Beach. You're not to get on a jet ski.

"You are not down there on a vacation. You're down there for your damn safety," he added.

Edwards is allowed to record music but cannot make any social media postings. He also cannot appear in any videos and is prohibited from having firearms at his residence.

Edwards previously received permission from Smith to move to south Florida. The judge said at that time that the rapper needs to stay away from Baton Rouge except for family emergencies and court dates.

Edwards, who wore a wrist monitoring device during his court appearance Monday, will return to court in Baton Rouge on Feb. 25.

He was freed from jail in early August after posting a $1.82 million bond set by Smith.

Edwards has pleaded not guilty to the seven counts of attempted first-degree murder stemming from two shootings this year that left three adults and two young children injured.

Law enforcement officers testified at Edwards' bond hearing in late July that the shootings — a July 4 drive-by shooting and another shooting April 6 — were the result of an ongoing feud between the rival TBG (Top Boy Gorilla) and NBA (Never Broke Again) rap groups. Officers described the groups as gangs.    

Edwards is a member and "top enforcer" of TBG, officers said.

Baton Rouge rapper Kentrell Gaulden, who performs under the name NBA Youngboy, founded the NBA group, prosecutors have said.

In late September, Gaulden was arrested on drug and weapons counts and 15 others were taken into custody while creating a music video, police said.

Gaulden rose to national acclaim as a teenager growing up in Baton Rouge, though his success has been marred with violence and drama. State District Judge Bonnie Jackson gave him a suspended 10-year prison term in 2017 and put him on probation for three years after he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a firearm in the 2016 shooting.

Jackson decided last December that the rapper had served enough time under court supervision and released him.

In addition to his attempted first-degree murder charges, Edwards faces firearms and assault charges for various incidents stretching back to April 2019. The penalty for attempted first-degree murder is 10-50 years in prison.

Two adults and two small children were injured in the July 4 shooting on Greenwell Springs Road. The victims' vehicle was similar to a car used by a high-ranking NBA member, authorities have said.

The man injured in the April shooting on Hanks Drive is a well-known NBA gang member, authorities said.

At the time of the recent shootings, Edwards was out on bond after being arrested in December 2019 on a count of attempted first-degree murder in an April 2019 shooting at the AM Mart on Highland Road. No one was struck in what authorities believe was a gang-related shooting.


Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.