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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 September 2005, 08:18 GMT 09:18 UK
Rapper shooting case opens again
Beanie Sigel
Beanie Sigel's first trial was attended by Jay-Z and Beyonce
US rapper Beanie Sigel has appeared in court to stand trial on an attempted murder charge for the second time.

Sigel - whose real name is Dwight Grant - attended the Philadelphia court on Wednesday for a retrial on a charge that he shot Terrance Speller in 2003.

The first trial, held last year, ended with a deadlocked jury.

Mr Grant, who has had three albums in the US top five, was released from prison last month after serving 10 months for illegal gun possession.

In the opening statements, assistant district lawyer Lynn Nichols told the court that the rapper shot Mr Speller and urged jurors not to let the star's fame get in the way of the facts.

Defence lawyer Fortunate N Perry Jr said he intended to discredit key witnesses - Mr Speller and a friend who came to his aid - saying both have criminal records and were intoxicated at the time.

Drug admission

Giving evidence, Mr Speller said he first told police he was shot near a Philadelphia bar during a robbery but a day later said Mr Grant had shot him.

He said he was initially too afraid to tell the truth.

"I wanted to make sure I was going to be all right and my family was going to be all right," he said.

Mr Speller said he had argued with the teen daughter of the rapper's girlfriend on the evening of the shooting.

He said he believed this could have been the motive for the shooting.

Under cross examination, Mr Speller acknowledged that he had smoked marijuana and drank heavily that night.

Meanwhile, Mr Grant faces another trial for allegedly breaking a man's eye socket during a row in January 2003.





SEE ALSO:
Rapper Sigel released from jail
10 Aug 05 |  Entertainment
Rapper Beanie Sigel sent to jail
09 Oct 04 |  Entertainment
Rapper Beanie Sigel denied bail
16 Jul 03 |  Entertainment



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