Jay-Z’s Assault Trial Delayed Until Mid-April

Rapper's lawyer is busy defending Jamal 'Shyne' Barrow against attempted murder, assault charges.

NEW YORK — A judge on Wednesday delayed rapper Jay-Z’s preliminary hearing on felony assault charges stemming from the December 1999 stabbing of music industry executive Lance “Un” Rivera.

The hearing was rescheduled for April 16 because Jay-Z’s lawyer, Murray Richman, is tied up with another high-profile defendant, Jamal “Shyne” Barrow, currently on trial facing charges of attempted murder and assault (see “Lawyers Come Out Swinging As Puffy/Shyne Trial Begins” ).

Because Jay-Z has maintained his innocence since the beginning (see “Jay-Z Turns Himself In To Police For Questioning, Denies Involvement In Stabbing” ), jury selection for an impending trial will also begin April 16, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

Jay-Z’s claim of innocence ties into the theme of the rapper’s next single and video, “Guilty Until Proven Innocent.” Set in a courtroom, the clip is scheduled to begin shooting in Los Angeles early next month (see “Jay-Z, R. Kelly To Shoot ’Innocent’ Courtroom Video” ).