Young Buck — who stands accused of stabbing Jimmy James Johnson, the Los Angeles man who allegedly attacked hip-hop impresario Dr. Dre during November's second annual Vibe Awards ceremony — must stand trial on a single assault charge, a California judge ruled Monday.
Judge James Dabney found there was sufficient evidence to try Buck (whose real name is David Darnell Brown), according to a Los Angeles Superior Court spokesperson. The 24-year-old rapper, a member of 50 Cent's G-Unit clique, was arraigned Tuesday morning (June 7) and once again pleaded not guilty. He was asked to pay an additional $80,000 bail, and a trial date was scheduled for September 27, according to the Nashville rapper's lawyer, Leonard Levine.
Young Buck pleaded not guilty to the charge back in January (see [article id="1495928"]"Young Buck Pleads Not Guilty In Vibe Awards Stabbing"[/article]). He faces up to eight years in prison if convicted. Johnson, who was charged with the assault on Dre, was also ordered to stand trial last month (see [article id="1501466"]"Dr. Dre's Alleged Attacker To Stand Trial For Vibe Awards Incident"[/article]); he, too, maintains his innocence.
Authorities claim Johnson punched Dre several times in the face when the legendary producer refused to sign an autograph for him. The attack set off a chair-heaving brawl that spread to involve many of the 1,000 audience members in attendance (see [article id="1493758"]"Dr. Dre Attacked, Man Stabbed During Melee At Vibe Awards"[/article]). Police were called in to restore calm and used pepper spray to disperse the crowd. At some point during the commotion, Young Buck allegedly stabbed Johnson in the chest, collapsing one of his lungs.
On Tuesday, Levine told MTV News he expects his client will be exonerated when the case is completed.
Young Buck briefly went into hiding after the incident but later surrendered himself to Santa Monica, California, police in November (see [article id="1493985"]"G-Unit's Young Buck Surrenders To Police"[/article]). He's been free on $500,000 bail since his initial arrest.
Attempts by Santa Monica 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 but have so far failed to yield additional suspects.
This story originally published at 9:13 a.m. ET on 06.07.2005