’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
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
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.