Puffy, Shyne Given January 2001 Trial Date

The wheels of justice turn slowly... especially in New York City.

Sean "Puffy" Combs has been given a January 2, 2001 start date for his trial on weapons possession and bribery charges stemming from the rap mogul's arrest on December 27, 1999, while fleeing a shooting at a New York City nightclub.

The trial date was set during a hearing on Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court, and Combs' bodyguard, Anthony "Wolf" Jones, and Bad Boy rapper Jamal "Shyne" Barrow will both be tried along with Puffy as co-defendants.

All three men have been charged with criminal possession of a firearm, a 9mm handgun that was allegedly found in Puffy's vehicle as he and girlfriend Jennifer Lopez left the club with Jones following the incident at Club New York (see "UPDATE: Charges Against Jennifer Lopez Dropped, But Puff Daddy To Face Weapons Charges").

Shyne also faces additional charges of attempted murder, assault, and

reckless endangerment for allegedly shooting three people at the Manhattan club on the night in question (see "Shyne Indicted For Murder, Grand Jury Still Mulling Charges Against Puffy").

Jury selection in the case will begin on the January 2 start date, with the trial expected to last for several weeks. Another pre-trial hearing in the matter has been set for November 2.

Representatives for Puffy had no official statement following Thursday's hearing, but indicated that the Bad Boy Records CEO was happy that a date has been assigned for the trial.

As for Shyne, the rapper just released his self-titled debut record earlier this week (see "Shyne Looks To Streets For Debut Album").