NEW YORK Jamal "Shyne" Barrow will go to prison for his role in the Club New York shootings, his own lawyer predicted Thursday afternoon, as jury deliberations continued in the trial of Shyne, Sean "Puffy" Combs and Anthony "Wolf" Jones.
Shyne's admission through his lawyers that he fired a gun at Club New York on December 27, 1999, means he'll certainly be convicted of at least the most minor charge against him, criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, lawyer Murray Richman said. That crime carries a minimum sentence of three and a half years in prison.
"Anything with a gun now is a violent felony offense," Richman said. Richman added, however, that he's confident the jury is seriously considering acquitting Shyne of the most serious charges against him, by accepting the theory that the rapper acted in self-defense when he opened fire. "Shyne is a good kid," Richman said.
In addition to the gun charges, the rapper is charged with attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment. (Click HERE for a complete explanation of the charges in the case. Click HERE for our complete trial coverage.) Richman who is also representing rapper Jay-Z on charges stemming from a 1999 stabbing, in a case scheduled to go to trial next month said he would have preferred to have reached a plea bargain for Shyne, but was not able to work out a deal with the prosecution.
Even as Richman spoke outside the courtroom, the jury appeared to be deliberating specifically on Shyne's fate, as it had the day before.
The jury, which began its second day of deliberations at 10 a.m., sent out a note asking to see the bullets and fragments found at Club New York, which include 9mm bullets apparently fired by Shyne and .40 caliber bullets fired by an unknown gunman.
The jury also asked to see a series of photographs, depicting the interior of Club New York. The two requests the jury made to the judge on Wednesday, the first day of deliberations, also related to Shyne. (see "Puffy's Fate Is In Jury's Hands") Shyne's mood appeared to be bleak on Wednesday, but he seemed surprisingly chipper on Thursday, talking animatedly outside the courtroom with a group of friends. The rapper's other lawyer, Ian Niles, declined to comment on his client on Thursday, except to say that he agreed with other observers that the jury appeared to be weighing Shyne's case in particular.
Combs, meanwhile, had nothing to do but wait Thursday. He wandered the halls near the courtroom, smiling as he chatted with lawyers, friends, family, publicists and his ever-present security entourage.