Bizzy Bone Found Innocent Of Assault

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony rapper Bizzy Bone was found innocent in just 45 minutes by a jury in Columbus, Ohio yesterday.

Bone, 22, born Bryon McCane, was on trial for misdemeanor charges of assault and battery for allegedly roughing up a barber school student (see "Bizzy Trial Won't Wrap Before The Weekend").

The trial wrapped up Monday after four days of testimony. The main point of contention, according to court sources, was whether Bone was even involved in the altercation, or if only the rapper's bodyguards came into contact with the complainant, Terrance Harden. The bodyguards were not charged. According to reports in the Columbus Dispatch, the jurors questioned whether the right people were on trial.

The prosecution's case wasn't helped when the original complaint was amended on the first day of the trial, changing the accusations from Bone having assaulted the man to Bone's bodyguards doing the deed with the rapper only

attempting to grab the man's collar. The stories offered by the defense and prosecution differed on that point, as the defense contended the men were simply protecting their employer, leaving the case as one side's word against the other.

The prosecutors told the Dispatch that they will not be filing charges against the bodyguards. According to a previous interview, however, Harden's lawyer, Robert Caplan, still intends to launch a civil action against Bone which will likely include the bodyguards as well. Caplan wasn't available for comment at press time.

Bone thanked the jury and hugged his lawyer and his mother when he heard the news. He later issued a statement in a press release that read: "I'm happy to be vindicated of all charges. With Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, it's always been about turning something negative into something positive. I'm not going to let an incident like this set me back." He added: "It's what happens when you achieve a little success and live in the

public's eye."

Bone also thanked the media who covered the trial fairly in the statement, but added that to the few who portrayed Bone and rappers in general in a negative manner, "Ignorance is simply not knowing."