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").