May 15, 1998 12:00 AM

In testimony Friday, key prosecution witness Wardel Fenderson, 42, driver of the Lincoln Navigator that on Dec. 27, 1999, reputedly sped Sean “Puffy” Combs and his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez out of a Times Square nightclub after a shooting there, claimed on the witness stand that the rap entrepreneur made several attempts to have Fenderson claim ownership of the handgun eventually found by police inside the SUV. Combs, 31, and his bodyguard, co-defendant Anthony “Wolf” Jones, 34, are charged with illegal possession of a weapon and bribery. Defendant Jamal “Shyne” Barrow, 21, is charged with attempted murder. In squabbling that took place in the courtroom, reports PEOPLE, prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos said he was upset because Combs’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, had called him “snooty” a couple days earlier in front of the jury, and that Brafman shouldn’t be able to get away with stuff like that. Judge Charles Solomon replied: “This is not a playground, so let’s just stop it.” After court closed for the day, Combs spoke to the media for the first time since jury selection ended. “I want to profess my innocence,” he said. “I look forward to next week when the defense is heard, and we put our case on, and you get to hear all of the facts.” The prosecution is expected to rest by this Wednesday, and the defense is expected to begin on Thursday. Judge Solomon has announced that he’d like the jury to have the case by the middle of next week.

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