Proof's Shooter Acted in Defense
Fri, 02 Jun 2006 09:07:09
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has announced that the bouncer who shot and killed D12 rapper Proof will not face murder charges. Collected evidence shows that Mario Etheridge was clearly acting in defense of his cousin when he fired at Proof. Etheridge reportedly fired two warning shots at the ceiling in attempt to stop Proof from opening fire on Etheridge's cousin, Keith Bender. Both Proof and Bender were killed in the resulting shootout.
The announcement marks a shift in opinion for Worthy. Shortly after the shooting, she declared that the murder investigation was "far from over," and had her sights trained on Etheridge. Etheridge is still due back in court on Friday to answer weapons charges. His lawyer continues to claim that he grabbed a gun from a bystander, but other witnesses have said that Etheridge was carrying a pair of guns. If found guilty, he would face up to nine years behind bars.
Authorities believe that Proof was intoxicated when he fired on Bender, and Bender's family has filed a wrongful death suit against the rapper's estate.
Proof's lawyer, meanwhile, is not conceding defeat, saying that there are still "unanswered questions" about the nightclub shooting and saying that he hoped future ballistics tests would convince Worthy and her office to reconsider murder charges.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff