Jury Asks For Evidence On Puff Daddy Charges

Sign that panel may be closer to verdict in Club New York case.

NEW YORK — Sean “Puffy” Combs’ jury appeared to be edging closer to a verdict Friday afternoon, as it asked to see evidence related to Combs’ gun possession and bribery charges.

The 12-member panel, appearing significantly less tense than it had on Thursday night, requested the transcript of a voicemail message Combs left for driver Wardel Fenderson. In the message, Combs said he wanted to make Fenderson and his family “comfortable,” a statement the prosecution argued was a reference to a bribe.

Surprisingly, the jury also asked for a brief read back of a police officer’s testimony about Jennifer Lopez’s behavior after the police pulled over the Lincoln Navigator in which she, Combs, Fenderson and Anthony “Wolf” Jones fled Club New York on December 27, 1999.

As police prepared to arrest the group, Lopez — who was dating Combs at the time — tried to walk away and get into a waiting limousine, but officers stopped her, police officer Mark Rowley testified. “It’s not my gun,” Lopez said of the firearm found in the Navigator, according to Rowley.

The evidence was the first requested by the jury that related to Combs, raising the possibility that they have made a decision on Jamal “Shyne” Barrow and moved on to Combs.

On the verdict sheet given to the jury when deliberations began Wednesday afternoon, Shyne’s charges, including three counts of attempted murder, are listed first. Combs’ charges — gun possession and bribery — follow. All of the jury’s requests during the first two days of deliberations appeared to be related to Shyne’s case.

When the judge called the jury back into the courtroom for the read back around 2:40 p.m., the jurors sent a message through a court officer asking for five minutes because they were “in the middle of something very important.”
The jury had deliberated through the morning on Friday without making any requests for information. Combs and his co-defendants, Shyne and Jones paced the hallways outside the courtroom, where increasingly bored lawyers, reporters and relatives sat on benches, waiting.

If a verdict is not reached on Friday, deliberations are expected to continue through the weekend.

(Click HERE for a complete explanation of the charges in the case. Click HERE our complete trial coverage.)