A rap artist who has been incarcerated in the Bulloch County Jail since April walked free Friday after taking an "Alford plea" to charges stemming from an altercation in the jail.
Kiari Kendall Cephus, 23, of Brooks Forest Drive in Lawrenceville, a member of the rap group Migos who goes by the stage name "Offset," is banned from the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit, including Bulloch County, and faces five years' probation and a $1,000 fine, according to information from the Bulloch County Clerk's Office.
An Alford plea is a guilty plea in which the defendant does not admit to the criminal act and asserts innocence. Cephus entered the plea regarding the charge of riot in a penal institution, and the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office will file a motion for "nolle prosequi" (no prosecution) regarding a battery charge as part of the plea agreement, said Bulloch County Clerk of Courts Heather McNeal.
Cephus, who already was being held without bond due to previous charges and a conviction, including gun and drug charges stemming from an incident at a concert at Georgia Southern University in April, racked up the battery and riot charges after a May 2 incident in the Bulloch County Jail in which he reportedly caused a disturbance and physically attacked another inmate.
Cephus asked Bulloch County Superior Court Judge John R. Turner for bond three times before Friday's status conference-turned-plea hearing and was denied each time.
Cephus and a number of others in the Migos entourage also entered pleas to the April 18 charges. He, along with fellow band members Kirshnick Khari Ball, 20, of Saddle Shoals Drive in Lawrenceville, known by the stage name "Takeoff," and Quavious Keyatz Marshall, 24, of Rye House Court in Lawrenceville, known by the stage name "Quavo," was charged with marijuana possession, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, carrying a weapon in a school safety zone (felony) and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Cephus also was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Details of those pleas were not immediately available Friday. McNeal said the information will be available after sentences, which vary for each defendant, are filed.
The April 18 charges came after Migos showed up late for a Spring Bling concert at GSU's Hanner Fieldhouse. Law enforcement officers smelled marijuana smoke emanating from vans that brought the group's entourage to campus, investigated and discovered drugs and guns inside.
Migos had left the stage after a brief performance, and all three members were arrested on site, along with about a dozen others affiliated with the band.
Others were given bond, but Cephus was detained due to an extensive criminal record, according to court records.
Bulloch County sheriff's Chief Deputy Jared Akins said Cephus left with family members after court Friday.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.