A day before his debut album, Trap House, is slated to hit stores, Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane is in a Georgia jail facing a murder rap.
Mane (whose real name is Radric Davis) turned himself in to DeKalb County police on Thursday night after a warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with a May 10 shooting at a local residence that left a 27-year-old man dead, according to his lawyer.
The 25-year-old rapper, whose "Icy" collaboration with Young Jeezy has become a national hit, was informed of the charge on Wednesday while in New York promoting his album.
According to witness accounts given to Mane's lawyer, Dennis Scheib, Mane was visiting a female friend on the night of the shooting when five men — three of them dressed in all black — stormed into the apartment. The unidentified armed men threatened to shoot the rapper, punched him in the mouth and pistol whipped his friend. Scheib said the witnesses heard a scuffle and gunshots and saw the men flee the apartment, with one asking another, "Are you hit?"
"The one who was hit walked by the witness and ran into the woods while the other three ran the other way and left in a truck," Scheib said. "My client got in his vehicle and went the opposite way of the man who was shot. The landlord of the place said it looked like a robbery."
Scheib, a former police officer, said that given the evidence he has gathered from witnesses, the shooting appeared to be self-defense. "If it was," he said, "then why is my client in jail for murder?"
The body of one of the men, Henry Lee Clark III, was found three days later near a local middle school.
According to Sergeant W. Durrett of the DeKalb County Police Department, officials believe that the alleged attackers were acquaintances of Mane. "He produced a handgun and started shooting," Durrett said of Mane. He added that the witnesses interviewed so far appear to corroborate the story that Mane was the shooter. Durrett was not able to say how many gunshot wounds Clark sustained or what the motive might have been in the altercation, but officials believe that the gun used in the shooting belonged to Mane.
Mane and Young Jeezy have been trading dis records for the past few weeks, allegedly over a feud stemming from their hit collaboration (see "Mixtape Monday: Alchemist Prepares To Rock For Em; Junior M.A.F.I.A. Know Biggie's Turning In His Grave"). Jeezy hit out at Mane in a song entitled "Stay Strapped," while Mane shot back with "Round One." Jeezy chalked the controversy up to an attempt by Mane to sell records. "I know where I stand," he said. "I know who I am. I'm grown. I don't play them games." Mane said Jeezy — who also raps on the Mane song "Black Tee" — was angry because he wanted "Icy" for his upcoming solo debut, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation Vol. 1 (which comes out June 28). "He's mad 'cause I ain't let him put the song on his album," Mane said. "We was never really cool."
Mane — whose album title, Trap House, is slang for a place where drugs are sold — was arrested in April 2001 on cocaine charges and sentenced to 90 days in jail, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
A bond hearing was expected Monday (May 23), but at press time Scheib said he did not think Mane would be released before Tuesday. Mane is slated to face a preliminary hearing on July 5.
This story was originally published on May 25th, 2005 at 8:21 am ET.