Mistrial Declared in Sigel Case

Jury unable to reach verdict in attempted murder case

April 28, 2004 12:00 AM ET
A Philadelphia judge declared a mistrial yesterday in an attempted murder case against troubled rapper Beanie Sigel.

The thirty-year-old Sigel (a.k.a. Dwight Grant) was accused of shooting Terrence Speller, 26, in the foot and stomach last summer outside a West Philadelphia bar. The rapper turned himself over to police last July and was charged with attempted murder. But Sigel's attorneys attacked Speller's credibility, as he gave police differing accounts of what happened that night.

Jury selection in the case began earlier this month, and following the four-day trial, the jurors deliberated for five days without being able to reach a verdict, prompting Judge Karen Shreeves-Johns to declare a mistrial. It isn't yet known if he will be retried.

Though the mistrial was at least a temporary victory, Sigel's legal woes are far from over. Earlier this month he pleaded guilty to federal weapons charges in a Philadelphia courtroom. Sigel faces a maximum of eleven years in prison for possession of a gun by a convicted felon and drug possession, but according to reports his plea could reduce the sentence to three years when he's sentenced on July 8th.

Those charges stem from an April 2003 arrest, where Sigel allegedly threw a handgun out of a car during a traffic stop. When Sigel appeared in a Philadelphia courtroom last July to answer to a previous assault charge, federal authorities arrested him, citing the April incident as a probation violation from a 1995 drug-trafficking charge.

Sigel was initially to be held without bail on the federal charges, but he was later released on a $1 million bond to enter drug rehabilitation and anger management programs, which he successfully completed.

When not in a courtroom, Sigel has been at work on his third album, The Becoming, which was initially slated for release this year.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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