The forthcoming trial of SEAN ‘PUFFY’ COMBS and his rapper protege JAMAL ‘SHYNE’ BARROW took an incredible new turn yesterday (January 10), when at a pre-trial hearing in MANHATTAN, prosecutors insisted they intended to use SHYNE’s lyrics as evidence against him.
Shyne then added a further twist to an already explosive hearing by unsuccessfully attempting to have his legal team dismissed for an alleged conflict of interest.
Despite arguments traded by lawyers on both sides, Judge Charles Solomon declined to rule on whether or not Shyne’s lyrics could be used against him in cross-examination during the trial proper, scheduled to begin next Wednesday (January 17).
According to [url=]www.sonicnet.com, the trial stems from an incident in a nightclub, Club New York, on December 27, 1999, that led to three people being shot.
Shyne’s own counsel Murray Richman argued that the move to use the lyrics violated the First Amendment, saying: “You would put in the mind of every artist that you’ve got to be careful what you write about, because it goes to the question of your intent.”
Richman also argued that beside all else, Shyne may not have written some of the lyrics on the album.
Prosecutor Matthew Bogdanus responded by saying the lyrics from the rapper’s self titled debut album, dealing largely with crime and guns, were relevant.
“Here’s what we’re going to put in the mind of every artist – don’t shoot people,” he said. “And if you do it, don’t brag about it, whether you brag about it speaking, whether you brag about it writing, whether you brag about it singing. You don’t acquire some extra protection because you’re an artist.”
It is believed the move to use material from a recording artist’s work to establish intent in a crime would set a new legal precedent.
Earlier, Shyne had attempted to dismiss his lawyers, Richman and Ian Niles.
Niles had previously represented Gavin ‘Pretty Boy’ Marchaud, a friend of Shyne’s, who is expected to be a witness for the prosecution. Shyne argued, unsuccessfully, that this represented a conflict of interest.
Next week Combs faces charges of illegal possession of a handgun, alleged to have been used in the attack, found on the floor of a Lincoln Navigator people carrier, in which he was stopped by the police as he fled the scene. He and his bodyguard, Anthony Jones, also present in the vehicle, are also charged with attempting to bribe the driver, Wardel Fenderson, with $50,000 to tell police the gun belonged to him.
Shyne faces more serious charges of attempted murder and assault.
The pre-trial hearing continues today (January 11), when Combs and Jones are set to attend.
Go to [url=]www.nmehiphop.com to view an exclusive interview with Shyne.