LITTLE ROCK — A bodyguard for a Memphis rapper who was onstage when shots were fired at a Little Rock nightclub on July 1 became Tuesday the first person arrested in connection with the shooting that left more than 20 people injured.
Also Tuesday, the rapper pleaded not guilty to a charge related to a shooting in Forrest City.
Kentrell Dominique Gwynn, 25, of Memphis was arrested early Tuesday in Memphis, according to a news release from acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Patrick Harris.
Gwynn pleaded not guilty in federal court in Little Rock on Tuesday afternoon to charges of providing a firearm to convicted felon or an unlawful user of a controlled substance, providing armed security to a convicted felon and conspiracy to commit both offenses.
If convicted, Gwynn could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and fined up to $250,000 for the first two offenses and sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined up to $250,000 for conspiracy.
Gwynn allegedly was providing armed security to Ricky Hampton, who performs as Finese2Tymes, when 25 people were shot at Power Ultra Lounge in Little Rock during a performance by Hampton. A shell casing found at the scene allegedly matches a firearm that was in Gwynn’s possession on July 2, according to federal authorities.
Hampton was arrested July 2 in Alabama on warrants related to a June 25 shooting outside Club Envy in Forrest City. He also appeared Tuesday in federal court in Little Rock and pleaded not guilty to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Federal authorities said previously that Hampton allegedly fired into a vehicle, injuring the driver, in the Forrest City incident.
Hampton previously was convicted of felony aggravated robbery in Tennessee and sentenced to eight years in prison.
Cutline: A police car and crime scene tape block access to the Power Ultra Lounge nightclub in downtown Little Rock on July 1 after 25 people were shot during a rapper’s show. Authorities arrested their first suspect in the shooting, the rapper’s bodyguard, Tuesday. (Arkansas News Bureau file photo