Rapper found guilty on federal charges

Guilty of being a felon in possession of a handgun, guilty of being a fugitive in possession of a handgun, and guilty of being a drug addict with a handgun were the verdicts. A federal jury was not kind to Tab "Turk" Virgil.

"We certainly thought the jury would see things our way--unfortunately, it didn't happen that way," said defense attorney Jay Bailey.

But prosecutors said the New Orleans rapper only reaped what he sowed a year and a half ago.

"Violence against law enforcement officers can't be tolerated--convicted felons can't tote guns and can't fire guns," said US Attorney Terry Harris.

Prosecutors said Virgil unloaded a 9mm handgun while hiding in a closet during a raid at this Hickory Hill apartment. At least one of the bullets hit Shelby County deputy Chris Harris in the face. Turns out, "Turk" was a convicted felon at the time. He was on the run from Louisiana law enforcement for a probation violation.

"The evidence in this case was clear and convincing and beyond a reasonable doubt," said Harris.

Deputy Harris, who is back on the job but facing additional surgery, was pleased with the verdict as well.

He just wishes "Turk" would take responsibility.

"He's had ample opportunity to admit what he did and had yet to do so," said Harris.

Maybe that will happen in the next trial. Virgil still faces attempted murder charges in state court.

"He's drug this out as long as he can and has finally gotten to the point where he can't drag it out anymore," said deputy Harris.

Deputy Harris has also filed a 60-million dollar civil suit against "Turk" Virgil. Meantime, Turk's attorney is planning both an appeal and a motion for a new trial in this case. Sentencing is expected in October.


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After deliberating for five hours today, a jury found Louisiana rapper Tab "Turk" Virgil guilty on three federal weapons charges.

The convictions: guilty of being a felon, a fugitive, and a drug addict in possession of a handgun.

On the night of October 29, 2004, Shelby County deputies carried out a drug raid at a Hickory Hills apartment where Virgil was staying.

They didn't find any drugs, but the raid ended with Officer Chris Harris shot three times and Harris accidentally shot a fellow deputy; both survived.

Virgil was wanted in Louisiana on heroin charges.

Action News 5 has also learned Deputy Harris filed a $60 million civil lawsuit for damages. While supporters of the rapper say the civil suit indicates the officer has financial motives, Deputy Harris said he just wants to prevent Virgil from using the case to make money by writing a rap song about it.

Friends of the rapper say he is no longer represented by the multi-million dollar record label "Cash Money Millionaire", so he wouldn't have the means to come up with that kind of money.

Virgil still faces a state trial for first degree attempted murder, as well as the civil lawsuit. He heads back to federal court in October for sentencing.