NEW YORK The judge in the criminal trial of Jamal "Shyne" Barrow and Sean "Puffy" Combs rescinded a warrant for Shyne's arrest on Monday afternoon (January 22) after learning that the rapper will not face serious charges from a car accident he was involved in Sunday night.
Judge Charles Solomon issued the warrant on Monday morning after prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos said Shyne might face criminal charges from the accident, which seriously injured two people. Solomon reversed, however, after Bogdanos told him later in the day that Shyne will face only the traffic violation charge of driving with a suspended license.
Bogdanos said in court Monday morning that Shyne's accident occurred after he ran a red light and hit a car with two people in it. But Shyne's lawyer, Murray Richman, said he has several witnesses who say it was the other car that ran the red light and hit Shyne's Mercedes, and Bogdanos later agreed that at least one witness presented that version of events.
Shyne was not hurt in the accident, which occurred just before 9 p.m. near the corner of 19th Street and Ninth Avenue in Manhattan, according to his lawyers. But the people in the other car were hospitalized and listed in serious condition, Bogdanos said.
Shyne, who Richman said was exhausted after spending a sleepless night in jail, was scheduled to be arraigned Monday evening.
Bogdanos said Shyne has a suspended Florida driver's license and a revoked New York license, while Richman said only that the rapper has a Florida license.
The judge and prosecutors were unaware that Shyne had a Florida residence until Monday afternoon, so Solomon will reconsider the amount of Shyne's bail currently set at $50,000 on Tuesday afternoon. Bogdanos is expected to argue that the existence of an out-of-state residence increases the risk that Shyne will flee New York.
In light of the accident, Combs lawyer Benjamin Brafman asked Monday morning that his client's case be severed from Shyne's and tried separately. Solomon denied the request.
Shyne, Combs and bodyguard Anthony "Wolf" Jones are being tried on charges stemming from a December 1999 shooting at Manhattan's Club New York. (Click here for a complete explanation of charges in the case.)
Jury selection in the case is expected to resume Tuesday afternoon.