DMX's Lawyer Says Rapper Not Guilty In Weapons Case

Says he will challenge warrant that led to search of rapper's New Jersey home.

DMX is not guilty of charges that he kept an illegal semi-automatic

handgun in his Teaneck, N.J., home along with a large-capacity gun clip

and hollow-point bullets, his lawyer said Friday (July 2).

Police said they seized that contraband as well as several glass pipes

and a bulletproof vest during a search Wednesday. The search, they said,

was prompted by an investigation into an incident Sunday in which Ray

Copeland, DMX's manager and uncle, was shot in the foot in nearby Fort

Lee.

DMX's lawyer, Brian Neary, said he and his client (born Earl Simmons)

have not been told why a search warrant was issued, and he plans to make

that an issue when the case is heard. "That would be an issue —

[the question of] what reason allowed them to search his house," Neary

said.

DMX and his wife, Tashera Simmons, who faces identical charges,

surrendered to police Wednesday (June 30), and were released on bail.

DMX's bail was $50,000 and his wife's bail was set at $2,500. A court

date has not been set.

Neary said DMX's bail presumably was set higher than his wife's because

the rapper still faces misdemeanor charges in Yonkers, N.Y., for allegedly

attacking a motorist in May.

Detective Sgt. Michael Falvey of the Teaneck Police Department said DMX

may still face additional charges based on what police found in his house.

Investigators are looking for drug residue in the glass pipes and trying

to determine whether DMX used the bulletproof vest during the commission

of a crime, Falvey said. It is illegal in New Jersey to wear such a vest

while committing a crime.

The rapper's 14 pit bulls, meanwhile, were seized by the ASPCA because

the animal-protection agency felt too many dogs were being kept together,

Falvey said.

Bernard Hart, deputy chief of the Fort Lee police department, would not

say whether DMX is a suspect in Copeland's shooting, which occurred

Sunday night at the Hilton Hotel in Fort Lee.

"The investigation is continuing," Hart said. According to an account

published Monday in the Bergen Record, police initially said they

were pursuing a single suspect in the case, based on information obtained

from an eyewitness to the shooting.

Hart would not say whether Copeland was cooperating with police. An

employee at his management company said Copeland — who was treated

at a local hospital and released, according to the Record

is not pursuing any complaint against his nephew.

That source and another employee of Bar Management said Friday that

Copeland is still DMX's manager and the two men are on cordial terms.

Both employees declined to give their names.

Neary said he is confident DMX will be cleared in the case.

DMX, 28, is known for his rough-voiced, aggressive rapping on songs such

as "Get at Me Dog" (RealAudio excerpt).

His two albums, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My

Flesh — Blood of My Blood, were released in 1998 and both debuted

at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The latter album includes

"The Omen" (RealAudio

excerpt), which features controversial rocker Marilyn Manson.

In June 1998 DMX was charged with raping an exotic dancer in the Bronx,

N.Y. Charges were dropped two months later when tests showed his DNA did

not match that from semen found in the woman's apartment.