April 03, 2019
More questions surrounding the death of Tech 9 are emerging this week, as records show the Philly battle rapper was due in court to be arraigned on child pornography charges the day after his death.
Philly Mag first reported that the 32-year-old Germantown man, whose real name was Akhiym Mickens, had been scheduled to be arraigned on March 25 in Common Pleas Court.
Court documents confirm that Mickens had been arrested Jan. 5 and charged with unlawful sexual contact with a minor, indecent assault, corruption of minors, harassment, possession of child pornography, and other offenses.
PhillyMag obtained police reports that showed the allegations involved the daughter of a woman Mickens was dating.
Mickens' court-appointed lawyer Cowanis L. Duckett told PhillyVoice on Wednesday he believes the accusations are "some kind of retaliation" against the rapper, but declined not to comment further out of respect for the family and complainant.
"Circumstances surrounding the timing of the actual accusation seem to me to be an act of retaliation rather than ... an actual incident that happened," Duckett said.
Duckett said Mickens maintained his innocence throughout his legal proceedings and, "If we did have an opportunity to go to trial, we would have been able to prove his innocence," the attorney said.
"The way our court system works, the criminal justice system works, whenever anyone makes an accusation, especially when it comes to sexual offenses, everyone … takes them very seriously. Until you're proven guilty, you’re innocent," Duckett added.
At his preliminary hearing on March 12, Mickens was held for trial on the child pornography charge and related offenses. The judge at that hearing also disposed of two indecent assault charges against Mickens, including one for the indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old.
On March 25, Mickens was scheduled to be formally arraigned on charges at 11 a.m. before Trial Commissioner Linda Mariani, and a pre-trial conference was on the docket with Common Pleas Judge Robert P. Coleman at 9 a.m. on April 16, court documents state.
PhillyVoice reached out to the District Attorney's office for comment and will update this story when they respond.
Mickens' official cause of death, as of April 3, has not yet been determined. Results of the blood and toxicology reports are still pending, as per the Montgomery County Coroner's Office. Mickens' lawyer had no further information.
Tech 9's death sparked an outpouring among his fans and supporters, who lauded the Philly battle rapper as a pioneer of the hip-hop genre in Philadelphia and beyond. A GoFundMe created by Mickens' father, Mark Anthony Mickens, had raised more than $28,000 to cover funeral expenses. And a vigil was held in Germantown to honor Tech 9 on March 26.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.