Victim's Family Sues Proof's Estate
Wed, 03 May 2006 16:06:26
The estate of deceased D12 rapper Proof (a.k.a. Deshaun Holton) has been sued by the wife and mother of 35-year-old Army veteran Keith Bender, Jr., who was fatally shot during a nightclub skirmish between the two men on April 11. The suit follows recent toxicology results that indicate that Proof had a blood-alcohol level of .32 at the time of the shooting (Michigan’s legal limit is .08).
Proof’s wife, Sharonda Holton, is named as the representative of the rapper’s estate, but the amount of damages sought is not listed.
Proof was shot and killed by Mario Etheridge, Bender’s cousin, who worked as a security guard at Detroit’s CCC nightclub. Witnesses have said that Etheridge opened fire only after Proof pistol-whipped and then fatally shot Bender, allegedly over a billiards dispute. Etheridge recently waived his preliminary examination and will be standing trial for his role in the shootings.
A lawyer for the Bender family had some harsh words for those who have been posthumously honoring Proof. “It is shameful that Mr. Holton is being lauded as a hero and martyr, when, in fact, it was his own criminalistic conduct that not only led to his death, but took the life of an honorable, innocent man,” said attorney Michael Cafferty.
Proof’s attorney responded that it was “disingenuous” to claim that Proof had been the first to fire, and reiterated his ongoing claim that the D12 rapper will be exonerated during the ongoing investigation and legal proceedings.
For his part, Proof’s best bud Eminem sidestepped the ugly details of the two deaths during his statement at Proof’s funeral, saying, “Right now, there’s a lot of people focusing on the way he died. I want to remember the way he lived.”
--The ARTISTdirect Staff