Jimmy James Johnson, the Los Angeles man who allegedly punched hip-hop impresario Dr. Dre during November's second annual Vibe Awards — sparking a melee that included members of rap clique G-Unit — must stand trial on an assault charge, a California judge ruled Friday.
Judge James Dabney found sufficient evidence to try the 26-year-old Johnson, according to a report from The Associated Press. Authorities believe Johnson punched the legendary producer several times in the face after Dre refused to sign an autograph. The assault incited an all-out brawl, as several bodyguards and G-Unit members rushed to Dre's defense (see "Dr. Dre Attacked, Man Stabbed During Melee At Vibe Awards").
According to police accounts, the G-Unit's Young Buck stabbed Johnson in the chest, causing a collapsed lung. The fracas spread to involve many of the 1,000 people in attendance.
Buck, whose real name is David Darnell Brown, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. He has since pleaded not guilty and is out on bail awaiting trial (see "Young Buck Pleads Not Guilty In Vibe Awards Stabbing"). Young Buck next's court appearance is slated for Friday. He faces up to eight years in prison if convicted, according to Deputy District Attorney Hamid Towfigh.
Johnson pleaded not guilty to assault at his arraignment in January (see "Man Who Allegedly Punched Dr. Dre At Vibe Awards Pleads Not Guilty To Assault ").
Attempts by Santa Monica Police Department investigators to ascertain the identities of two other individuals seen brandishing knives in video footage from the Vibe Awards attacks are said to be ongoing.