A man who moonlighted as an FBI mole while serving as Tupac Shakur’s bodyguard for three years — providing federal authorities with a window into Marion “Suge” Knight’s Death Row Records empire — testified Wednesday that the West Coast label’s head of security vowed to “get” Notorious B.I.G. for “down[ing] Pac.”
Kevin Hackie, a critical witness in the Notorious B.I.G. wrongful-death trial, took the stand despite concerns for his own personal safety, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The federal trial, which began on Tuesday, comes three years after Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, and his widow, singer Faith Evans, filed a wrongful-death suit against the city of Los Angeles as well as former and current Los Angeles Police Department chiefs (see “Notorious B.I.G. Wrongful-Death Suit Goes to Trial” ). Last year, the suit was cleared to go to trial (see “Notorious B.I.G. Wrongful-Death Suit Can Go To Trial, Judge Rules” ).
The Wallace family’s suit contends that Los Angeles police officer David Mack, at the behest of Knight, conspired to have the rapper (born Christopher Wallace) killed — and that the LAPD tried to conceal Mack’s involvement. According to the Times, the suit also alleges that Mack recruited college roommate Amir Muhammed to carry out the murder. Neither the LAPD nor the FBI has identified a current suspect in the murder.
Hackie delivered a blow to Biggie’s family’s case when he denied ever providing sworn testimony asserting Mack was a “covert agent” who worked for the Death Row label, the Times reports. Hackie’s testimony also failed to definitively link Mack to Knight and Death Row; while he initially stated that he’d occasionally seen the cop and the label executive exchanging words at Death Row functions, Hackie later conceded that he’d only seen the two men in attendance at large parties and social events. Earlier this month, another FBI informant who had testified to a link between the LAPD and Death Row took back his claims during a sworn deposition (see “Notorious B.I.G. Murder Informant Changes His Story” ).
According to The Associated Press, Hackie additionally blasted the Wallace family’s intentions, saying, “You have no weapon, you don’t have a direct link to an actual suspect, so obviously, this time it would be for monetary purposes.”
The report states that another of the Wallace family’s theories — that Mack was a member of the Mob Piru Blood gang — was quashed when a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detective, an expert on Compton gangs, denied the allegation. A third witness, former police chief Bernard Parks, was called to the stand on Wednesday, but said he didn’t have any detailed knowledge of the investigation.
Wallace was killed on March 9, 1997, while sitting in a sport utility vehicle following a music-industry event at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles’ Mid-Wilshire district. Eight years later, police have made little progress on the case, which remains unsolved.
Jurors will decide who can be held accountable for Biggie’s murder, and must consider whether Mack hatched a plot to kill the rapper before they can find fault with city policy and rule on damages, the Times reports. The trial is expected to resume Thursday (June 23).
Check out the feature “Notorious B.I.G.: Still The Illest,” where Jay-Z, Kanye, Jada, Alicia and others share their favorite Biggie verses.