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Richmond rapper facing strangulation, extortion charges

Posted at 9:35 PM, Feb 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-03 21:40:36-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A Richmond rap artist has been arrested and charged after Henrico police said he broke into a woman's home, beat her up and stole her money.

Keith Lamont Wright, who is known to many in the Richmond entertainment circle as rapper MC Ruff, faces a slew of charges, including strangulation and extortion.

Friends and colleagues, including other members of  MC Ruf and Obsession, said that what Wright is accused of doing is totally out of character.

MC Ruf and Obsession

MC Ruf and Obsession

"He loved music. He loved seeing people enjoy listening to his music,” Jay Brown, a fellow member of MC Ruf & Obsession, told WTVR reporter Sandra Jones.

Henrico police said officers responded to the 3200 block of East Laburnum Avenue Sunday for a domestic situation after Wright reportedly forced his way into a home, assaulted the victim and took off with her vehicle and money.

"I feel sorry for the person and I have empathy for the person or victim,” Bill McGhee, a local jazz artist and friend of Wright's, said.

McGhee said he spoke with Keith Wright over the weekend he knew something was wrong.

Bill McGhee

Bill McGhee

"When he started mixing profanity with Bible verses, I just knew there was something wrong,” McGhee said.

McGhee said Wright was always known as a person who wanted to give back and help others, but admitted their recent conversation was bizarre.

"In his mind, everything was great. He's getting ready to make all these great plans because he's God and God is in me and I can do anything,” McGhee said.

Keith Lamont Wright

Keith Lamont Wright

And while Wright sits behind bars, close friends and colleagues ask the public to not rush to judgement.

"He might just be hurt and when you 're hurt people lash out especially when you don't have an outlet to lash out," McGhee said.

Wright's close friends admit he was dealing with "personal issues" and they believed he was trying to get help.

Wright, who faces several charges including robbery, strangulation, carjacking and extortion, is being held without bond at the Henrico County Jail West.

He is slated to appear in court March 22.