'Shyne' Had Gun: Lawyer

In a surprise announcement during Monday morning’s concluding arguments in the trial of rap mogul Sean “Puffy” Combs, codefendant Jamal “Shyne” Barrow’s attorney Ian Niles told the jury, “I’m going to make your job a little bit easier,” the attorney was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. “I’m going to tell you Jamal had a gun.” The declaration marked the first time in the seven-week trial that the defense had made such an admission, but Niles claimed that Barrow was justified in having the weapon in his possession “because,” Niles told the courtroom, “he had been shot at just a few weeks earlier.” (Barrow, 21, is charged with attempted murder and assault. Combs, 31, and his bodyguard, Anthony “Wolf” Jones, 34, are charged with weapons possession and bribery for allegedly trying to pay Combs’s driver, Wardel Fenderson, into claiming to police that a gun found in Combs’s vehicle was the driver’s.) Niles argued in the courtroom that Barrow fired his weapon at the ceiling and was acting in self-defense following a disturbance that had broken out at Club New York on Dec. 27, 1999. During the alleged fracas, another man began “yelling that he was going to kill Shyne,” said Niles, who also told the jury that Judge Charles H. Solomon is going to instruct them that a person may use deadly force in order to protect himself. Concluding arguments for Jones and Combs are expected to be heard Monday afternoon.

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