Investigators believe a man who fist-bumped PnB Rock as he entered a Roscoe’s Chicken ‘N Waffles last year was the one who tipped off killers to the “Middle Child” rapper’s location – and possibly supplied the gun used in his murder, sources and court documents allege.
Tremont Navon Jones, 45, appeared in custody at a Compton courthouse Monday for a hearing alongside Freddie Trone, the alleged getaway driver and father of the juvenile charged with gunning down PnB Rock inside the Roscoe’s on September 12, 2022. Jones is one of two new suspects charged in connection with the rapper’s murder.
Jones was arrested last May in connection with the murder, but his charges were filed under a different case number, causing them to fly under the radar until now. He was charged with two counts of robbery, one count of conspiring to rob the rapper — whose real name was Rakim Allen — inside the Roscoe’s restaurant and one count of illegal possession of a firearm.
Freddie Trone, meanwhile, was arrested and charged just weeks after the murder alongside his 17-year-old son — who allegedly pulled the trigger — and his wife Shauntel Trone, who was charged as an accessory after the fact.
Another new defendant in the case, Wynisha Evans, also was arrested last May and charged with being an accessory after the fact. Prosecutors allege she drove Freddie Trone from Los Angeles to Las Vegas after the murder to help him escape a public manhunt, according to court filings.
Both Jones and Evans have pleaded not guilty as have Freddie and Shauntel Trone.
In a motion to dismiss charges, Jones’ defense lawyer quoted from a probable cause hearing held last August in which a detective testified that Jones and PnB Rock “exchanged a fist bump” when the rapper first entered the restaurant with his girlfriend, Stephanie Sibounheuang. The motion says the detective told the court that Jones met up with Freddie Trone outside the restaurant a short time later, before the shooting, and appeared to hand over an object that he retrieved from his sedan and “covered with a towel.” Jones also dialed Trone’s phone number around the time of the slaying, the detective testified, according to the motion.
A source with knowledge of the case tells Rolling Stone that prosecutors believe it was Jones, not an Instagram post from Sibounheuang, that alerted the alleged killers to the rapper’s whereabouts. (In the aftermath of the murder, Cardi B went online to defend Sibounheuang against claims her geotagged post led to the deadly attack.)
Jones’ defense lawyer, David Haas, pushed back against the prosecution theory in his dismissal motion. “There was no testimony that Mr. Jones communicated directly with the (the alleged juvenile shooter) at any time before, during or after the crime. There was also no testimony that Mr. Jones contacted Mr. Freddie Trone to make him aware of Mr. Allen’s presence inside Roscoe’s,” Haas wrote in the motion filed September 29, 2023, and obtained by Rolling Stone. “The additional claim that Mr. Jones supplied Mr. Freddie Trone with the firearm is pure speculation.”
As Rolling Stone first reported, authorities arrested Freddie Trone, his teen son and his wife, Shauntel Trone in late September 2022 after connecting the alleged getaway car seen on surveillance video with a Buick Enclave found torched and abandoned just blocks from the Trones’ residence in Gardena, Calif.
Wynisha Evans also appeared at the Monday hearing out of custody. In a motion to lower her bond filed earlier this month, her defense lawyer said she was a longtime friend of Freddie Trone who agreed to drive him to Las Vegas after the murder because she was “terrified” he was going to be shot by police. “She admits that she drove him to Las Vegas to prevent him from being killed,” the filing from lawyer Conrad Barrington states.
A hearing on the prosecution’s motion to consolidate the cases of Jones and Evans with those of Freddie and Shauntel Trone has been set for December 4.
Allen’s stunning daylight murder rocked the hip-hop industry and robbed the world of a talented rapper whose melodic flow straddled hip-hop and R&B. Rolling Stone named him a New Artist You Need to Know in 2016, and he later rocketed to crossover fame with his 2019 feature on Ed Sheeran’s “Cross Me.”
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