Lawyers for Jamal "Shyne" Barrow, Sean "Puffy" Combs' co-defendant in last year's shooting at Club New York, are hoping a phone bill can support their claims that police ignored the rapper's right not to incriminate himself.
Barrow, who was arrested outside the club December 27 after the shooting, is accused of attempted murder in the second degree and is charged with assault and illegal weapons possession. Combs' charges include felony gun possession (see "Sean 'Puffy' Combs Pleads Not Guilty To Weapons Charges").
In pre-trial testimony Wednesday, lawyer Ian Niles read from his cellular phone records, which show that Niles made two calls to New York's Midtown South police precinct and one to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office attempting to reach Barrow. Niles said he told a police officer, who answered the phone at 1:49 p.m. December 27, that he was Barrow's lawyer and that officers should not do anything
more with the rapper without contacting him first.
Barrow's other lawyer, Murray Richman, said outside the courtroom that that same day, police later used Barrow in three lineups. The court has heard that two witnesses who viewed the lineups identified Barrow as the shooter.
Richman will argue that using Barrow in the lineups went against his attorney's wishes, expressed to police in the phone call. If the judge finds that police ignored the call, Richman will ask that the lineup evidence be thrown out.
After the shooting injured three people, Combs, his girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez, and their entourage sped away from the club while being chased by police. They were apprehended about ten blocks away, where officers allegedly found a gun on the floor of their Lincoln Navigator (see "Charges Against Jennifer Lopez Dropped, But Puff Daddy To Face Weapons Charges").
In addition to the gun possession counts,
Combs also is charged with bribing a witness, allegedly with a diamond ring Lopez gave him (see "Puff Daddy Pleads Not Guilty To Bribery Charge").
Anthony "Wolf" Jones, Combs' bodyguard, is charged with felony gun possession. They all have pleaded not guilty.
The phone bill appeared to have rattled Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos. Bogdanos complained to Judge Charles Solomon that the document was a "surprise" to him and that the defense failed to provide him with a copy.
In cross-examination, Bogdanos attempted to establish that just because Niles called the precinct, there was no evidence that he spoke to any member of the New York City Police Department. Niles said he could not remember to whom he spoke.
Solomon set the continuation of the hearing for June 28.