Dolla Slaying Suspect Lawyer Says Client Acted In Self Defense

May 22, 2009 9:47 AM ET

Howard K. Price, the attorney representing Aubrey Louis Berry, the man accused of shooting and killing up-and-coming Atlanta rapper Dolla, is claiming his client's actions were in self-defense.

"If somebody has a reasonable perception that he is in danger of bodily injury or death, he has a right to defend himself," Price told MTV News, adding that his client fired on the 21-year-old Akon protege outside a Los Angeles mall because he feared for his life following a run-in with the rapper and his crew.

Berry has been charged with two counts of assault with a firearm and one count of murder in Monday's shooting, which investigators say was triggered by an altercation the two men had inside an Atlanta strip club. Price says Dolla threatened Berry inside the mall and that when his client tried to leave, he noticed the rapper and two associates following him. Berry thought Dolla was drawing a weapon from his waistband and responded with gunfire. Police contradict Price's assertion as no other weapons were discovered at the crime scene.

Price is expected in court this afternoon to petition for a reduction in his client's bail, which currently stands at $5 million. If convicted, Berry faces life behind bars.

"He felt his life was in danger because of the previous altercation and what [Dolla] is reputed to be, which is [a member of] the Crips, and the way he conducted himself in the bathroom, and the way his crew approached him when they followed him to the parking lot," Price told MTV News. "If it is unreasonably held [that Berry's life was in danger], but he truly thought that, then the case boils down to no worse than manslaughter."

Related Stories:

Dolla's Family Release Statement, Plan Public Memorial Service
Atlanta Rapper Dolla Shot Dead Outside Los Angeles Mall

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