DADDY HOLDS COURT

The star faces up to 15 years in prison over weapons and bribery charges...

SEAN “PUFFY” COMBS returned to a NEW YORK courtroom yesterday (July 31) in connection with weapons and bribery charges he is facing after a shooting at TIMES SQUARE MANHATTAN CLUB in December 1999.

However, the rap star was not in the dock or asked to face further charges. His lawyer Benjamin Brafman said the hearing was little more than “scheduling conference” designed to even out glitches that had arisen over possible trial dates. An agreement was reached to return to court on September 13 in order to set a trial date.

Puff Daddy has always pleaded his innocence over the charges. One of his protigis, teenage rapper Shyne, real name James Barrow, is facing attempted murder charges. He is alleged to have opened fire in the club on December 27, wounding three people.

Meanwhile, Combs and co-defendant, his bodyguard Anthony ‘Wolf’ Jones, face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of weapons possession.

A loaded 9mm handgun was found under the seat of a people carrier in which Combs, Jones, Combs girlfriend, the actress Jennifer Lopez, his driver Wardel Fenderson and an unidentified man were travelling when stopped by police in the early hours of December 27 after fleeing the scene of the shooting.

The weapon found under the car seat is alleged to be the same one Puff Daddy is said to have brandished in the club during the shooting.

The bribery charge relates to the US$50,000 that Puffy and Jones are said to have offered Fenderson to admit possession and ownership of the weapon.