On Friday, rapper Gucci Mane learned that he will not be tried for the May 10, 2005, shooting death of Henry Lee Clark III. More than six months after the Atlanta MC's indictment was handed down, the DeKalb County district attorney's office, lacking sufficient evidence to try Mane, dropped the charges.
Mane (real name Radric Davis) had been accused of killing Clark, a rapper from nearby Macon, Georgia (see "Atlanta Rapper Gucci Mane Faces Murder Charge"). Mane had been visiting a female friend the night of the shooting when four men — all of them dressed in black — burst into her Decatur apartment. The men assaulted Mane, a scuffle ensued, gunshots were fired and the men fled the scene. Clark's body was discovered several days later outside a nearby middle school.
After his arrest, Mane admitted to shooting at his assailants, but has maintained all along that he acted in self-defense. According to Mane's attorney, Dennis Scheib, the prosecution's case suffered one critical setback: an eyewitness had come forward with information supporting the rapper's claims.
"There wasn't enough evidence to meet the elements of murder," Scheib said. "But the bottom line is, I had a witness who was standing outside [the apartment building when the incident occurred] trimming some hedges, who owned the condo, who articulated that these four men rushed into the place. Based on what he said and some other information, it came out that it was a self-defense situation. It was going to be either a robbery, an aggravated assault or a murder. [Mane] had a right to defend himself. [The prosecution] couldn't disprove self-defense. The district attorney didn't have a whole lot of choice but to dismiss it."
However, the district attorney's office hasn't given up entirely on Mane: DeKalb District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming said that although her office was unable to prove the elements of murder beyond a reasonable doubt at this time, "If new information comes to light, we will reconsider the matter."
In October, Mane pleaded no contest to assault charges stemming from a separate incident in which he was accused of attacking a nightclub promoter in June. Mane is serving a six-month sentence in an Atlanta prison but is expected to be released later this month.