Proof Shooter Convicted on Weapons Charges
Thu, 21 Sep 2006 10:17:41
Mario Etheridge, the man who fatally shot rapper and Eminem associate Proof at a Detroit nightclub in April, was found guilty yesterday (September 20) on two weapons charges related to the incident.
The jury in the trial, which lasted three days, found Etheridge guilty of carrying a concealed weapon and discharging a firearm inside a building. The two charges carry a combined maximum sentence of up to nine years in prison -- although Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Walker indicated that it's likely Etheridge will be sentenced to probation only because he has no prior convictions.
Etheridge did not face murder charges because it was ruled that he acted in self-defense. Proof fired his weapon first, shooting Etheridge's cousin, Keith Bender, in the face in a dispute over a game of pool. The D12 rapper was preparing to shoot Bender again when Etheridge fired, first discharging two rounds into the ceiling, then shooting Proof once. Both Bender and Proof later died from their wounds.
It was the two rounds fired into the ceiling that sealed Etheridge's conviction for discharging a firearm inside a building. "No one can calm a violent situation down by introducing a weapon," Walker said. "Today's verdict proves this."
Etheridge is scheduled to be sentenced on October 17.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff