Public Enemy 2000

Sean "Puffy" Combs indicted

January 17, 2000 12:00 AM ET

On Thursday, January 13, Sean "Puffy" Combs was indicted on weaponscharges by a grand jury and the Manhattan District Attorney's office forpossession of a loaded 9mm handgun in a nightclub where three people wereshot, allegedly, by Bad Boy signee Shyne. Combs is also accused of fleeingthe club in a sport-utility vehicle with bodyguard Anthony Jones, girlfriendJennifer Lopez, and driver Wardel Fenderson, wherein they were pulled overby Manhattan police for running a red light. Police allegedly chased themthrough eleven red lights before pulling them over and found a loaded 9mmhidden under the passenger's seat. They also allegedly witnessed a secondgun thrown out of their window, which was later recovered. Both Combsand Jones face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of second andthird-degree weapons possession charges.

In his defense, the day after the shooting, Combs told reporters, "I do notown a gun, nor did I possess a gun that night." And, on Thursday afternoon,he made the following statement: "The decision to indict me is wrong. I'minnocent and we will prove it."

Also in his defense, Combs has hired Johnnie Cochran, Benjamin Brafman, andHarvey Slovis as his legal team. In a press conference late Thursdayafternoon, Cochran said, "We ask the public, Sean's millions of fans andthose with whom he is involved in various business ventures, to withholdjudgement until the case is over."

That same day, Lopez released a statement saying, "I cooperated fully withthe District Attorney's investigation into the shooting at Club NY. I amsurprised and saddened to learn of the indictment against Sean Combs. I waswith him that evening; at no time did I see him with a gun. I support himwholeheartedly throughout this difficult time. My prayers and thoughts arewith the victims of the shooting."

Shyne, who has pled not guilty, was indicted last week on three counts ofattempted murder in the club shooting and faces up to 25 years in prison. Combs and Jones are scheduled to be in court on Monday, February 14, whilecharges against Jennifer Lopez have been dropped. Combs is currently out on bail.

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