Prosecutor Says Proof's Slaying Was Justified

She says bouncer who shot Detroit rapper was acting in cousin's defense.

A Detroit-area prosecutor said Tuesday (May 30) that the bouncer who shot and killed Proof on April 11 acted in his cousin's defense and will not face murder charges.

Mario Etheridge had been charged with weapons violations three days after the nightclub shootout, at which time Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy was still considering murder charges, noting that the investigation "was far from over" (see "Proof Shooting Suspect Charged — But Not With Murder").

In a press conference Tuesday, Worthy said the evidence clearly shows that Etheridge acted in lawful defense of his 35-year-old cousin, Keith Bender, the man allegedly shot by Proof (see "Man Allegedly Shot By D12's Proof Dies").

Etheridge, though, will still have to face the weapons charges and is due back in court Friday.

Worthy told reporters that Etheridge — a bouncer at CCC, an after-hours club on Detroit's Eight Mile Road — shot twice at the ceiling in an attempt to stop Proof before turning the gun at the rapper (see "D12's Proof Shot And Killed At Detroit Club").

Etheridge's lawyer, Randall Upshaw, has maintained that his client took a gun from someone during the attack, but Worthy said witnesses saw Etheridge with two guns on him. If convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and discharging a firearm in a public place, Etheridge faces up to nine years in prison.