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’s Trial Essay, Research Paper A jury acquitted Bad Boy Entertainment CEO Sean Puffy Combs and bodyguard Anthony Wolf Jones on all charges brought against them, after a 1999 shooting in a

’s Trial Essay, Research Paper

A jury acquitted Bad Boy Entertainment CEO Sean Puffy Combs and bodyguard

Anthony Wolf Jones on all charges brought against them, after a 1999 shooting in a

nightclub in Midtown Manhattan that injured three people.

The verdicts finally ended a seven-week trial that produced the spectacle of two worlds

in conflict: the gray bureaucracy of State Supreme Court in Manhattan and the flashy

world of Mr. Combs, whose supporters filled the benches day after day. Before the

verdict was read, Puffy stared at pictures of his three kids and trembled with relief, as

the jury repeated not guilty five times. The courtroom erupted with joy when the

verdict was read as Puffy s mother Janice calmly looked on.

Right now I m just really emotional, I m at a loss , Puffy told a throng of reporters as he

exited the courtroom with a fist in the air in a motion of triumph. I feel blessed. Right

now I just want to go be with my kids. I m just grateful .

The nightclub party, which began as a festive occasion for members of the rap music

industry, ended in pandemonium. Minutes after three patrons were shot, one in the

face, Mr. Combs fled the nightclub in a Lincoln Navigator, with the movie star and

singer Jennifer Lopez, who was then his girlfriend, Mr. Jones and his driver, Wardel

Fenderson.

Witness after witness testified that after hours of dancing and drinking Champagne, a

fight broke out between a patron, Matthew Allen, and Mr. Comb s people, and that

insults were traded after Mr. Allen threw a wad of money at Mr. Combs as a show of

disrespect.

Prosecution witness, including the most seriously injured victim, Natania Reuben,

testified that Mr. Allen, who goes by the nickname Scar, threatened to kill label rapper

Shyne (born Jamal Barrow), shouting threats like I ll see you in Brooklyn. Ms.

Reuben recalled that she saw flashes from two shots – one each fired by Mr. Combs

and Mr. Barrow – and then grasped her face as a bullet smashed into her nose.

Seven witnesses testified that they saw Mr. Barrow with a gun that night, some

describing the bright light of a muzzle flash , others how smoke came out of his

9-millimeter gun after the sound of shots exploded over the blaring hip-hop music.

Three other witnesses testified that they saw Mr. Combs at the club with a gun. Mr.

Allen, who fled after the shooting and was arrested last month in Maryland on three

outstanding warrants did not testify, but in a statement he told to the police after the

nightclub shooting that he could see both Shyne and Puffy firing guns.

How much would a nightclub visit on Dec. 27, 1999, end up costing to the hip-hop star

Sean Combs if he was found guilty? First he could ve lost his freedom if the jury had

convicted him on gun possession and bribery charges, then his lawyers would have

had to deal with the $1.4 billion in civil lawsuits filed after the shooting and less

importantly he would had to say goodbye to his career and fans. As Puffy was cleared

of all charges his friend Shyne was less fortunate. While Shyne was acquitted of the

most serious charges against him, attempted murder, the jury found him guilty of

assault, reckless endangerment and gun possession. The rapper was immediately

taken to jail.

Since the verdict more than a month ago, Mr. Combs has returned to being a fashion

and entertainment mogul, changing his rap name from Puffy to P. Diddy. Meanwhile,

Mr. Barrow is in jail awaiting sentencing.

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