Redman, Erick Sermon, More Plead For New Keith Murray Trial

This past Tuesday, several hip-hop artists including The Alkaholiks, Rockwilder, The Twins, and Fat Joe came out to support Redman and Erick Sermon, who spoke on behalf of their imprisoned colleague Keith Murray.

Murray has been behind bars for the past 22 months after being convicted of second-degree assault. As we previously reported, Murray was jailed in 1998 after being convicted of a 1995 assault against a Connecticut concert promoter (see "Rapper Keith Murray Surrenders, Discusses His Time On The Run"). The rapper maintains his innocence, and his high profile supporters came together in New York on Tuesday in an effort to shed new light on the case.

Murray was convicted of hitting alleged victim David Hughes over the head with a barstool, but the rapper's supporters claim that when Hughes was struck, Murray was actually standing next to Hughes' brother, Latif, and was nowhere near the incident.

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promoter Cory Pace has now stepped forward, saying he was offered a bribe to keep his mouth shut by the alleged victim's family. Pace said he had kept quiet because he feared for his life. In light of this new evidence, Murray's attorney Joe Moniz and entertainment counsel Larry Rudolph (Britney Spears' manager) are petitioning for a new hearing with Connecticut's Superior Court. They're hoping it will result in the release of Murray, who has been noted as a "model inmate."

Sermon says within "Three days after he's released, [Murray will] be in the studio," working on some new music. Murray's hit, "Home Alone," a duet with R. Kelly, was at the top of the "Billboard" R&B singles chart at the time of his arrest.

L.L. Cool J and Busta Rhymes were also expected to turn up for the event, but they did not attend (see "Busta, L.L., Redman Pledge Support For Keith Murray").