PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Nicki Minaj crew member killed outside a Philadelphia bar was stabbed after checking that a bartender had made it safely to her car, a piano player for the hip-hop star testified Tuesday.
“Devon was asking her, ‘Are you good, sis?'” said witness Marcus Kincy, a pianist for Minaj from Chicago.
Defendant Pierce Boykin, leaving the bar with another group, said, “What do you mean, is she OK?” he said. “From there, that’s when things got out of hand.”
With those few words, a scuffle broke out that left 29-year-old tour technician Devon “Day Day” Pickett dead from stab wounds that pierced his rib cage and struck his heart.
Boykin, 31, was held on a murder charge Tuesday in the Feb. 18 death after testimony from Kincy and a second crew member, Eric Reese of Los Angeles, along with the airing of security video that showed the parties leaving the bar but not the altercation.
The musicians and crew had gathered in Philadelphia — sans Minaj — to rehearse for her spring Pinkprint Tour in Europe. Five of them had gone to the Che’ Bar and Grill in the West Oak Lane neighborhood because someone knew the bartender. But the bar closed early when a fired employee caused a disturbance.
They were in their car when the female bartender texted to say she was leaving, and the musicians got out to see her to her car.
“It’s just a gentleman thing to do at 3 o’clock in the morning,” Kincy said.
He identified Boykin as the person who first swung at Pickett, although he said he never saw a knife or blade. He said his group had tried to avoid the fight, to “try to chill things out.”
Defense lawyer Stanton Lacks argued that there was no evidence presented to implicate Boykin as the culprit, and he noted that the two men with his client that night were not charged. But a judge held Boykin for trial on both the murder charge and an attempted murder charge for stab wounds Reese discovered he had suffered after the friends brought Pickett to a hospital.
“He was very outgoing, very goal-oriented. His thing was to be great, always push the envelope, always learn more,” Kincy said after the hearing, speaking of his slain friend. “We were just happy to be together.”
(Photo Source: Nicki Minaj Instagram)