The family of slain rap artist Dolla (real name: Roderick Anthony Burton) responded to claims by the accused killer's lawyer that the shooting was done in self-defense, and that Dolla was a gang member. Aubrey Louis Berry allegedly shot and killed Dolla at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles on Monday. He was arrested later that day and charged Wednesday with two counts of assault with a firearm and one count of murder and is being held on $5 million bail; he has pleaded not guilty and remains in jail.
"There are three victims in this case, none of which is Aubrey Berry," the Burton family's spokesperson, Dennis Byron, said Friday (May 22) in a statement, adding to MTV News that the family was upset by the claim. "His claim of self-defense is very colorful but the fact is that he traveled from Atlanta with a loaded firearm — for which he didn't possess a carry permit for in the state of California — and then he assassinates Mr. Burton and attempts to shoot his cousin Will and his friend DJ Shabazz. Dolla was doing what he normally does, and that is to come to town and record in the studio and visit his family. He has been a recording artist for many years and being a member of any gang is as far-fetched as Mr. Berry's claim of self-defense. Mr. Price is attempting to argue his client's case in the media but the courtroom is where this matter will be dealt with."
On Thursday, Berry lawyer, Howard K. Price, told MTV News that his client had been victimized and threatened by Dolla over a previous incident at an Atlanta nightclub.
"If somebody has a reasonable perception that he is in danger of bodily injury or death, he has a right to defend himself," Price said. "He felt his life was in danger because of the previous altercation and what this guy [Burton] is reputed to be, which is [a member of] the Crips [street gang] and the way he conducted himself ... and the way his crew approached him when they left the restaurant and followed him to the parking lot."
On Friday at 6 p.m., a viewing of Dolla's body will be held in Atlanta, and a memorial service will be held on Saturday at 1 p.m. Friends, family and fans are welcome to attend the viewing.
Murray Brothers Funeral Home
1199 Utoy Springs
Memorial service information:
1680 Westview Drive SW