Ashanti and Family ‘Terrified’ by Alleged Stalker
Ashanti was left “terrified” by the advances of her alleged stalker, jurors heard at his trial on Thursday. Devar Hurd is facing felony stalking charges following a 2013 case, which ended in a mistrial in 2014 after a juror fell sick.
In October, he was convicted of nine counts, including criminal contempt and harassment, but the jury was deadlocked on the felony stalking charge. This time around, Hurd has claimed he had a romantic fling with Ashanti, full name Ashanti Douglas, and alleged that her family has a vendetta against him. But on Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Carolina Holderness told the jury that Douglas and her family have suffered for years at the hands of Hurd. “The family was upset. They were terrified,” Holderness said in her summation. “This is not about a vendetta. This is not about her celebrity status.” Hurd is defending himself in the case, and spoke for nearly two hours about the reasons he sent messages to Douglas on Twitter, despite the singer having restraining orders against him. He stated his intentions were innocent, despite the fact that several of the messages were graphic and/or sexually explicit. “Ladies and gentlemen, the business we work in is sexually explicit,” Hurd, who believes he is a music business professional, said in the trial. “What adult things you may be involved with – that’s your business. She’s trying to take any explicit stuff and make it look criminal.” However, Holderness insisted: “This defendant thinks the rules do not apply to him.” Hurd served two years behind bars beginning in 2009 after he was convicted of stalking and aggravated harassment. Following his jail sentence, he was accused of violating a protection order and sending the “Mesmerize” star lewd tweets. The trial was declared a mistrial in 2014. Hurd is now facing four years in prison. He has rejected a plea deal, reports the New York Daily News. The jury continue deliberating on the case, with a verdict expected in the near future.