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Busta Rhymes trial date set

Story Highlights

• Busta Rhymes going to trial on assault charges
• Judge retracted plea deal, set May 8 trial date
• Rhymes accused of kicking, punching ex-employee
From Chris Kokenes
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Hip-hop musician and actor Busta Rhymes is going to trial to face misdemeanor assault charges in two separate incidents.

Monday morning Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Tanya Kennedy retracted a plea deal offer that was made earlier this year and set a trial date for May 8.

The rapper, born Trevor Smith, faces two assault charges. He recently refused a deal that would have allowed him to plead guilty to misdemeanor assault, enroll in an anger management class and do community service to avoid jail time.

Police said the rapper, 34, is accused of kicking and punching a former employee during an argument outside Smith's Manhattan office the day after Christmas. He also is charged with assaulting a fan who allegedly spit on the rapper's car after a performance at the AmsterJam Music Festival.

If convicted, Smith could be sentenced to more than a year in jail on each assault charge and fined $500.

Calls and e-mails to Smith's attorney, Scott Leemon, were not returned.



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