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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 May 2006, 09:01 GMT 10:01 UK
No extra charges in rap shooting
Security guard Mario Etheridge
Mario Etheridge could be sentenced to several years in jail if convicted
The security guard alleged to have killed the rapper Proof in a nightclub in Detroit will not face any additional charges over the shootout.

Mario Etheridge acted within the law, prosecutors say, because he was trying to defend his cousin, Keith Bender.

Mr Bender was allegedly shot dead at the CCC club by Proof, a member of the group D12 and a close friend of Eminem.

Charges of carrying a concealed weapon and unlawfully firing a gun still stand against Mr Etheridge.

Mr Etheridge fired twice at the ceiling to try to stop Proof before aiming the gun at him, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy stated.

"The evidence clearly shows that Mario Etheridge acted in lawful self-defence of another when he shot Deshaun Holton," she added, using Proof's legal name.

The funeral of rapper Proof
At Proof's funeral, Eminem said the rapper was "a people magnet"
The dead rapper's estate is being sued for wrongful death by Mr Bender's wife Jacqueline and mother Leona.

They claim Proof "violently assaulted and battered" Mr Bender, before firing the shot which killed him.

'Unanswered questions'

However, Proof's lawyer, David Gorosh, said "conflicting eyewitness testimony and an inconclusive ballistics test" had "left unanswered questions" about the shooting on 11 April.

"We will have the bullets from the crime scene examined by an independent ballistics expert in the hopes of putting these questions to rest in a final, thorough and conclusive manner," he said.

"I believe that these independent findings will motivate the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office to re-evaluate its position."

County Prosecutor Kym Worthy (left)
Prosecutor Kym Worthy said there was "clear evidence" of self-defence
Mr Etheridge's lawyer, Randall Upshaw, has countered that a drunken Proof became aggressive during a game of pool.

He claimed Proof argued with Mr Bender and later returned with a gun, beating him with the weapon before shooting him in the face.

Mr Etheridge's final pre-trial court appearance is scheduled for 2 June.

If convicted, he faces a maximum of five years in prison on the concealed weapon charge and four years for discharging a firearm.


SEE ALSO:
Dead rapper accused over shooting
02 May 06 |  Entertainment
Eminem in tribute to dead rapper
20 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Second death in shot rapper case
18 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Eminem's D12 bandmate shot dead
11 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Eminem and Kim to divorce again
06 Apr 06 |  Entertainment


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