NEW YORK Not surprisingly, Jennifer Lopez is the most prominent name on the lists of potential witnesses submitted Wednesday (January 24) by lawyers on both sides of the criminal trial of Sean "Puffy" Combs and Jamal "Shyne" Barrow.
Lopez, who accompanied Combs during his visit to Manhattan's Club New York on the night of the shooting that sparked the case, appears on lists submitted by both the prosecution and the defense.
But the lists which technically include people who "may be mentioned in testimony or may be called as witnesses" also include some less predictable well-known names.
Producer Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, also known as the Madd Rapper, is on the prosecution's list. Angelettie, a member of Combs' Bad Boy stable of producers, is working on at least two tracks for Shyne's upcoming second album. Angelettie also once employed Shyne's lawyer, Ian Niles, to defend him on charges that he attacked the editor of the now defunct magazine Blaze. The charges were dropped.
Voletta Wallace, mother of the late rapper and Combs' cohort Notorious B.I.G., also appears on the prosecution's list. The same list includes Steven Stoute, the record executive Combs was accused of beating in 1999, as well as bodyguard Paul Offord, who was also accused of participating in the alleged Stoute attack. Combs pleaded guilty to a minor charge in connection with that incident.
Music exec Benny Medina, who manages Jennifer Lopez, is also on the prosecution's list, as is lawyer Harvey Slovis, who initially represented Combs in the Club New York case. As expected, rapper Gavin "Pretty Boy" Marchand, who is rapper Foxy Brown's brother, is on the prosecution's list, as is shooting victim Natania Reuben, who is expected to testify that she saw Combs brandish a gun in the club.
Michael Bergos, owner of Club New York, is on the defense list, even though he sued Combs and other defendants for allegedly damaging his business. The prosecution's list includes approximately 400 people, while the list submitted by the defense includes about 40 names.
After the submission of the witness lists, Judge Charles Solomon and lawyers for both sides finished questioning prospective jurors about their reactions to pretrial publicity. They then began more general questioning of the remaining jurors, who numbered about 100. The judge hopes to have opening statements in the case begin as soon as Friday.
(Click HERE for a complete explanation of the charges in the case.)