Foolio appears in Duval County Court

The Jacksonville rapper wants a judge to throw out all evidence in the case against him for felony flight and escape.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville rapper Foolio made a rare court appearance Thursday in what was to be the last hearing before his trial began on Monday.

Foolio, real name Charles Jones, is accused of fleeing and evading police during a traffic stop in April. He pleaded not guilty. His attorney is seeking to suppress all evidence in the case, saying there was no probable cause for the arrest and no evidence of flight or escape.

A hearing on the motion to strike was scheduled for Thursday but was postponed.

Jones was arrested by Jacksonville Sheriff’s officers on April 5. Detectives said they initially pulled him over for excessive window tinting and that he drove under the posted speed limit for less than 400 feet before coming to a stop. Body camera footage shows he stopped in less than 20 seconds. When he pulled over, five detectives surrounded his Dodge Durango at gunpoint and handcuffed Jones.

RELATED: Foolio traffic stop was a ‘tool’ for police to confiscate cellphones, officer testifies

Nothing illegal was found during a search of the vehicle. Officers found a handgun, which Jones told officers they would find and that he had a possession license. Assistant State’s Attorney Leah Owens, who responded to the scene, ordered officers to confiscate the cell phones of all occupants of the vehicle.

At an earlier hearing, a detective confirmed the initial traffic stop was “a tool to confiscate cellphones” as part of a separate investigation.

Jones’ attorney Lewis Fusco had previously sought to have Owens removed from the case or, failing that, to be called as a witness due to his unorthodox appearance at a traffic stop, when no one had still been arrested. The state’s attorney’s office says it’s common for prosecutors to attend the scene of a crime, such as a homicide, and investigate.

Jones was held for 2.5 hours in the backseat of a police cruiser and then taken to the state’s attorney’s office for questioning in an unrelated murder case. Five hours after the initial arrest, he was told he was being arrested and taken to jail.

Prosecutors filed a motion this week to compel Jones’ DNA, but withdrew that request in court Thursday. Jones’ attorneys have filed two motions related to his alleged gang affiliations. They want the judge to prevent officers who testify from being identified as working for JSO’s “gang unit” and bar testifying about his possible gang associates.

Foolio was a key figure in a bloody rivalry between two Jacksonville gangs. He is affiliated with the gang known as KTA, who are bitter enemies of ATK, the express affiliate of fellow Jacksonville rapper Yungeen Ace.

If the case is not dismissed, jury selection is due to begin on Monday.

RELATED: Rival Jacksonville Gangs Locked In Deadly Battle Glorified In New Viral Rap Clips

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