Slumped onto his elbows behind the thick jailhouse glass, Deandre Oliver looked like he was destined to follow his older brother, underground rapper Lavish D, straight into prison.
The 28-year-old South Sacramento resident, who has rapped under the moniker Prince Dreda, has been in county jail since June 9 of last year. He was expecting to get out soon, having accepted a tentative plea deal that would have meant time served over a felony charge of recklessly evading law enforcement.
Oliver and his attorney say the agreement was all but inked, but then Oliver missed his sentencing hearing for a pretty good reason: He was in the hospital getting treated for injuries sustained in a shooting that occurred a few months earlier.
That failure to appear is what’s resulting in a serious dilemma for the younger Oliver: Either spend another eight months in county jail—or risk nearly eight years in state prison.
“A nigga between a rock and a hard place,” Oliver remarked, speaking over the static of the jailhouse receiver.
Hardball tactics aren’t necessarily a new thing in Sacramento County’s criminal justice system. But the DA’s insistence on up-charging Prince Dreda reflects the latest twist in an ongoing battle between authorities and a south Sacramento clan whose sons say they’re artists—but whom law enforcement considers gangsters.
It’s rare for prosecutors to pursue maximum time against defendants who miss court dates. But Oliver and his brother Donald “Lavish D” Oliver were never average defendants.