BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Nearly five years after local rap artist Garrett “Gee Money” Burton was shot to death outside of his Dallas Drive music studio, authorities have yet to pinpoint the person who pulled the trigger.

In 2021, authorities accused Deandre Demarcus “NBA Lil Pap” Fields of being the gunman responsible for Burton’s 2017 murder and charged him with second-degree murder, which carries a life sentence without benefit of parole, probation or suspension.

On Monday, Jan. 23, Fields accepted a plea deal with a reduced charge of accessory after the fact in 19th Judicial District Court before Judge Michael McDonald, according to court minutes. As a non-violent offense, the new charge reduced Fields’ sentencing to five years in prison.

Prosecuting attorneys offered the plea deal after weighing the complications surrounding their key witness, according to East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore. Donvan Cortez Jefferson faces a second-degree murder charge in the 2019 slaying of Derek Jones. That case is set to go to trial in March.

Moore said the charge brought into question how much they could depend on Jefferson as a witness. In addition to this, when it came to the prosecution’s ability to rely on other evidence that would point to Fields as the gunman, it seems there simply wasn’t enough to use in court.

“There was no other direct information outside of some circumstantial evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Fields was responsible for this homicide,” Moore said.

“My office has discussed these issues with Mr. Burton’s family prior to accepting this plea,” he explained.”

Fields will serve a three-and-a-half-year federal sentence for firearm possession at the same time as he serves this five-year sentence.