Bone Thugs-N-Harmony rapper/singer Bizzy Bone was found innocent Monday (Jan. 25) of charges that he dragged a student down a flight of stairs in September in Columbus, Ohio.
A jury of five men and three women needed only part of Monday afternoon to reach a verdict, according to Terry Woods, the bailiff assigned to Judge Teresa Liston at the Franklin County Municipal Court in Columbus. The verdict was announced around 4 p.m. (EST).
Bizzy Bone, a 22-year-old Columbus native who was born Bryon McCane, faced up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted of assault and disorderly-conduct charges.
"Bizzy is obviously very happy he was vindicated," said his publicist, Kari Cooley-Strom. Cooley-Strom said her client will continue promoting his second solo album, Heaven'z Movie, and plans to get together later this year with the other three members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to record a follow-up to The Art of War (1997). The latter was highlighted by such tracks as "War" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Thug Luv" (RealAudio excerpt). The charges stemmed from a complaint by Terrance Harden, a student at Hair Experts Beauty School in Columbus. Harden accused McCane of dragging him down a flight of stairs at the school Sept. 16.
Ted Barrows, Columbus First Assistant City Prosecutor, said investigators believed the two had argued. He said McCane and two bodyguards confronted Harden because McCane thought Harden had made derogatory remarks about him behind his back.
The bodyguards were not charged and do not face future prosecution, Barrows said.
Barrows said while the office prefers guilty verdicts in its cases, he was unmoved by the news of McCane's acquittal. "I've been in this business a long time and nothing a jury does surprises me anymore," he said.
Harden, who lives in Columbus, has an unlisted phone number and could not be reached for comment.
McCane also lives in Columbus, which is about 140 miles south of Cleveland.