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  • Proof Shooter to Stand Trial

    Thu, 27 Apr 2006 14:29:02

    Proof Shooter to Stand Trial - Bouncer waives preliminary hearing, claims he acted to protect clubgoers.

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    Mario Etheridge, the 28-year-old bouncer at Detroit’s CCC nightclub who stands accused of fatally shooting D12 member and Eminem best bud Proof, waived his preliminary examination on April 26th. Etheridge is charged with firing a gun in an occupied building and carrying a concealed weapon. If convicted, he faces up to nine years behind bars -- and by waiving the preliminary examination, he admits that there is enough evidence to go to trial.

    But his lawyer, Randall Upshaw, has countered that Etheridge was merely trying to protect clubgoers from the dangerous Proof, who Upshaw said had been arguing with another man before fatally shooting Etheridge's cousin, Keith Bender. The clash with Bender was believed to be over a game of pool.

    Upshaw also told reporters that Etheridge had not been carrying a weapon and must have either been given a gun or taken a gun from someone once the fracas began. Bender was pistol-whipped by Proof and then shot once in the face; he died in a Detroit hospital after a week on life support. Witnesses have said that Etheridge responded to this assault by shooting Proof three times.

    While Upshaw made his statements to the press, Proof’s attorney, David Gorosh, stood nearby and shook his head for the reporters. Neither of the weapons used in the shooting have been recovered, and the police and prosecutors are still awaiting for the results of ballistic testing.

    “This case is far from over,” Gorosh said.

    --The ARTISTdirect Staff
    04.27.06



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