Six years after his arrest, hip-hop podcaster Daryl “Taxstone” Campbell is finally facing trial for the infamous 2016 shooting at Irving Plaza in New York City that took the life of Troy Ave’s bodyguard Ronald “Banga” McPhatter.
The trial comes nearly seven years after the fateful night on May 25, 2016 where a T.I show at the concert venue turned violent. Around 10:30 p.m., an argument began in the VIP section of Irving Plaza that resulted in gunfire ending the show. The NYPD confirmed Troy Ave’s bodyguard Ronald “Banga” McPhatter was fatally wounded, while Troy Ave and two other people also suffered gunshot wounds in the melee. The following day, surveillance video surfaced from the incident that showed Troy Ave firing a gun during the chaos. As a result, he was arrested at NYU Langone Hospital, where he’d been recovering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg. The gun used in the shooting was reportedly recovered in his vehicle. Troy maintained his innocence, claiming self-defense.
The shooting was initially believed to have been sparked by a feud between Troy Ave’s BSB crew and Maino’s team, which Maino denied. On Christmas Day 2016, Troy Ave was shot twice in his car while visiting family in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The following month, popular Tax Season podcast host Taxstone was arrested in connection to the Irving Plaza shooting, with U.S. Marshals New York and New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force taking Tax into custody in Brooklyn on a federal warrant that charged him with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one count of receipt of a firearm in interstate commerce. The arrest came following a federal complaint sworn out by Detective Jose Flores of the New York Police Department that stated what is believed to be Taxstone’s DNA was found on the gun that killed Banga and injured Troy Ave during the Irving Plaza shooting.
The report also noted Taxstone and Troy Ave having prior issues and referenced an audio recording made before the Irving Plaza shooting in which Tax “proclaimed his willingness to open fire if a group of men were to approach him.”
Additionally, Detective Flores said he was able to identify the Florida man who brought the a 9mm Kel-Tec semiautomatic handgun that was used in the Irving Plaza shooting to New York through pictures on social media: “I know from my review of social media, including photographs depicting the two together, among other evidence, that [the man who brought the gun to New York] is an associate of Daryl Campbell, a/k/a ‘Taxstone,’ the defendant,” the complaint reads.
Following Taxstone’s arrest, Troy Ave’s lawyer released a statement.
I view the charges brought today before the SDNY as a positive step in the direction of true justice for what occurred at Irving Plaza that night,” Troy’s lawyer, John B. Stella said.
“As we have said since May 25, 2016, Roland Collins (Troy Ave) did not enter Irving Plaza with a handgun the night of the T.I. concert,” the statement continues. “He was not responsible for the four shots fired inside the green room that took the life of his dear friend, [Ronald] McPhatter, and caused injury to him and two other innocent bystanders.”
In February of 2017, Taxstone was indicted on weapons charges stemming from the Irving Plaza shooting. That June, he pleaded guilty in the gun case. A month later, he was indicted for the murder of McPhatter, after the government revealed they had a witness willing to testify. Tax has since pleaded not guilty.
In February of 2018, Troy Ave released the video for the track “2 Legit 2 Quit” where he appears to detail the night in Irving Plaza, implying he wrestled the gun away from the killer and acted in self-defense when he was seen firing a gun on camera. He also hinted at testifying against Taxstone in court. He later insisted he could not be a snitch since video of the incident allegedly proves he acted in self-defense.
After nearly seven years, Taxstone is finally standing trial for second-degree murder. Troy Ave is expected to testify during the trial. XXL has reached out to Taxstone’s attorney who confirmed the jury selection for the trial concluded last week, with opening statements and testimony happening this week.
Taxstone has yet to be sentenced in the gun case. He faces up to 20 years on the gun charge. If found guilty of second-degree murder, he faces 15 years to life in prison.