A Washington, D.C., based hip-hop artist, described by his lawyer as a "rising star" in the music business, was ordered held on $100,000 bail in Harford County Friday on a charge of failing to appear for trial in a 2012 case in which he allegedly gave a police officer a fraudulent identity during a traffic stop on I-95.
District Court Judge David Carey's decision to hold Martrel R. Reeves, 24, on such high bond could jeopardize his ability to appear as scheduled at concerts Friday in Baltimore and Saturday in Washington, Reeves lawyer, Thomas Mooney, of Upper Marlboro, told Carey.
But Reeves, who performs under the name Fat Trel, appeared with the rapper Wale at Baltimore Soundstage Friday night, according to Mike O'Brien, the venue's marketing director. He was also on the bill with R&B, pop and hip-hop star Chris Brown at the Verizon Center in D.C. Saturday night, Mooney said.
Mooney confirmed about 6:30 p.m. Friday that his client had made bail and was on his way to the Baltimore concert. Harford County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Cristie Kahler likewise confirmed Reeves had bailed out of the Harford County Detention Center.
Missing either concert would be a "severe financial consequence" and involve breach of contract, Mooney said in court Friday.
Reeves, who has an Upper Marlboro address, was held without bail after being arrested Thursday on the warrant issued last August when he didn't show up for trial before Carey on the fraudulent identity charge. It was the third time he had missed court on the charge, Carey noted.
Reeves has a total of 10 failures to appear in various cases in Maryland, including the three in Harford, Carey also noted.
"We don't hide from that fact," Mooney said, noting that this is the first time Reeves has been held in jail for failing to appear. He asked Carey to set bond "to put us and a bail bondsman on the hook" and gave assurances his client will show up for the next trial.
"He knows this isn't playing, it's serious," added Mooney, a criminal defense lawyer, who said he would provide the court with the phone numbers of Reeves' mother and his manager, who would also vouch for him.
But when Assistant State's Attorney Daniel Salem suggested bail of at least $100,000 should be set in light of Reeves' past inability to show up for court, Mooney was on his feet quickly, telling the judge bail that high would be "excessive" in light of the charge and his client's struggling financial position as a "rising star," who has traveled around the country performing in order to make a name for himself.
"Five to $10,000 should be more than appropriate," Mooney said.
Salem, however, reminded Carey that it took six months for police to catch up to Reeves since his last missed trial date in August and that Reeves had missed two other dates dating back to 2012 in the case, in which he was alleged to have given police a false identity "to avoid being taken into custody" on other open warrants.
Carey said he was trying to weigh what he would do with someone "employed in another field," who failed to show up for court three times.
As he did, Reeves, who appeared at the hearing via a closed circuit TV link from the Harford County Detention Center, watched quietly.
"I don't believe special treatment is warranted," the judge said. Carey also noted: "It's not the most serious charge in the world, but some bond is appropriate," before deciding to set the bail at $100,000.
According to a brief biography on his website, fattrel1135.com, "Fat Trel, is an Americanhip-hop recording artist from Washington, D.C. He is signed toRick Ross's labelMaybach Music GroupandAtlantic Records." Among recordings available for listening on the website are "My Bruvas," "Burn" and a Dej Loaf track remix called "Try Me."