GAULDEN KENTRELL_1100221997_217619

Kentrell Gaulden, 17

A well-known Baton Rouge teen rapper was released from Parish Prison pending sentencing Monday after he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a firearm after he was connected to a high-profile November drive-by shooting on Kentucky Street. 

Kentrell Gaulden, 17, who performs under the name NBA YoungBoy and more recently YoungBoy Never Broke Again, was charged in February on two counts of attempted first-degree murder, though one of those charges was later dismissed and the other reduced to aggravated assault with a firearm, according to the office of 19th Judicial District Judge Bonnie Jackson. Gaulden pleaded guilty to the lesser charge Monday morning and his sentencing was set for August 22, according to court records. Gaulden faces up to 10 years in prison, according to Louisiana statute for aggravated assault with a firearm. 

His post-conviction bail was set at $50,000, much below his original $200,000 bail when arrested in December, and prison records show he was released after more than five months behind bars. 

Gaulden's lawyers did not return calls for comment. 

"(Gaulden) was a first offender," said East Baton Rouge Assistant District Attorney April Leon, who prosecuted the case. "The plea agreement was based upon the evidence, the witness statements and fact that no one was struck by (his) gunfire."

Leon also noted that Gaulden had turned 17 two weeks prior to the shooting, making him only recently eligible to be tried as an adult. 

Baton Rouge Police believe this drive-by shooting was connected to two other shootings — one fatal — in a two-day span in the Old South Baton Rouge neighborhood, said spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely in March. He said this shooting and the third shooting the following day, were in "retaliation" for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Keondrae Ricks.  

Gaulden was one of a pair of gunmen who hopped out of a car and opened fire at several people in the 2000 block of Kentucky Street on Nov. 2, a Baton Rouge police report says.

Another passenger in the car with Gaulden was shot in the neck during the gunfire. The group managed to drive away but abandoned the car between the LSU lakes, where police found the wounded man in the car. The passenger in Gaulden's car who was wounded was rushed to the hospital and survived.

Top stories in Baton Rouge in your inbox

Twice daily we'll send you the day's biggest headlines. Sign up today.

Witnesses later identified Gaulden as one of the gunmen, according to the report. 

The Kentucky Street shooting came hours after Ricks, a McKinley High School student, was gunned down about a block from his home on Nebraska Street, as he rode his bike just after midnight. 

Trashone Coats, 17, and Monte Carey, 27, were arrested in the shooting death of Ricks, an up-and-coming rapper himself, in late March and early April, respectively. 

About 24 hours after Gaulden is accused of opening fire on Kentucky Street, another drive-by shooting in the same block where Ricks was killed left the front of two homes riddled with bullets, although no one was injured. Derrick Keith Guice, the 20-year-old brother of LSU star running back Derrius Guice, was arrested the next day.

Guice was charged with principal to attempted second-degree murder on Jan. 4, according to court records. Guice has not been arraigned.

Michael Onyedinma, 17, was also charged in the shooting for principal to attempted second-degree murder, court records show. He pleaded not guilty on March 13. 

Both their trials remains ongoing. Carson Marcantel, the attorney listed in court records for Guice and Onyedinma, did not return a call for comment.

Follow Grace Toohey on Twitter, @grace_2e.