General News

Puffy Trial Nearing End

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:51am EST

Closing arguments ended yesterday in the trial of rapper/producer Sean "Puffy" Combs, and today a seven-man, five-woman jury began deliberations today to decide his fate.

Prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos summed up his daylong closing yesterday with a simple fact: "It's about three people who were shot in a club a little over a year ago. Three defendants stand before you. Three guns, and that's a fact," Reuters reports.

Prosecutors asked a jury to look beyond the hip-hop star's fame and apply the law regardless of the celebrities in the high-profile case.

"What do you do when a celebrity commits a crime? You do your job regardless of who broke the law," prosecutor said. "It's not the breaker," he said. "It's the law broken."

Bogdanos played dramatic recordings of emergency telephone calls following the shootings on Dec. 27, 1999. One of the wounded, Natanya Reubens, 30, has seven lead fragments lodged in her head; an eighth was surgically removed. A bullet hit Robert Thompson, 39, in the right shoulder, and Julius Jones, 27, was shot in the right shoulder as well.

All three are seeking damages in separate lawsuits against Combs stemming from the incident. The damages sought total more than $1 billion.

Combs, rapper Jamal "Shyne" Barrow and bodyguard Anthony "Wolf" Jones each carried a 9mm weapon while at Club New York in Times Square on the night of the incident. Combs faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted and also faces bribery charges, as does Jones.

Defense arguments on Monday claimed that the entertainer was the real victim-of people who wanted to profit from his fame.

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