A male who shot and also killed an up-and-coming rapper at the Beverly center last year to be acquitted of killing Friday in a situation that focused in part on the victim’s violence-laced gangsta laboratory lyrics.

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Aubrey Berry, 24, was hugged through his defense attorney as the critical of the not guilty verdicts was read in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. Friends and family that rapper Dolla, whose actual name was Roderick Anthony Burton II, wailed and also sobbed in the audience.

“Obviously, what occurred on might 18, 2009, to be a awful tragedy because that everyone,” superior Court referee Michael E. Pastor told the lawyers in court. “The jurors have spoken.”

Berry testified critical week the he opened up fire in self-defense in the parking garage that the upscale mall. He claimed Burton, 21, intimidated to kill him near the valet desk and also reached toward his ago as though he were illustration a gun. Police found no weapon top top Burton, who was shot as soon as in the left biceps and three times in the back.

Berry testified the Burton had been part of a group of guys who kicked and also punched the 11 days previously at one Atlanta nightclub.

Minutes before the shooting, the two males saw each various other again when dining separately at P.F. Chang’s in the Beverly Center. Berry stated he left the restaurant in fear and watched Burton leaving a minute later and run in ~ him.

Berry had actually a surprise handgun top top his hip, a weapon he stated he routinely carried after being the victim of several violent crimes. He had a allow to lug the firearm in Georgia and other states however said the did no realize the allow did not use to California.

Jurors deliberated much less than two days prior to rejecting murder or manslaughter dues in Burton’s death and assault charges in i m sorry Berry was accused of firing in ~ two males who were through Burton at the moment of the shooting. Only Burton was struck by gunfire.

outside court, defense lawyer Howard R. Price hailed the jury for closely weighing the evidence and also faulted the district attorney’s office for pursuing the shooting as a murder, calling the decision “absurd.”

“This is clearly a situation of justice being done,” the said.

throughout the trial, Berry told jurors he had actually learned around Burton with online study after the Atlanta assault. He said he perceived an Internet video in i beg your pardon Burton stood with alleged gang members and also boasted about breaking a masculine jaw. And he listened to among Burton’s songs in i beg your pardon the rapper glorified gangs and also bragged about always transporting a gun.

Price explained Burton as a violent gang member and also played both the video and the tune — “Is girlfriend Holdin’?” — throughout closing arguments this week. He claimed they showed that Berry was justified in fearing because that his life when he shot Burton.

“His music is horrendous, offensive,” Price stated Friday together he waited for his customer to leaving court. “I don’t think that engendered any sympathy.”

Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Grace stated he to be disappointed by the verdict however felt prosecutors gift a compelling case. He stated he was unsure whether the rap lyrics swayed the jury.

“You’d hate to think the was the tipping point,” that said exterior court.

Jurors said the referee they go not want to speak come reporters and also were escorted native the courthouse v a for sure exit.

Prosecutors said during the trial the Burton’s music was irrelevant. They stated his text were just entertainment: part of a gangsta rap genre the went mainstream year ago. And they accused the defense the victimizing Burton again by characterizing him together a thug.

Prosecutors said jurors that Berry to be lying around the shooting and also argued that ballistics and also blood evidence showed the singer was to run away as soon as the fatal shots into his back were fired.

however Price disagreed, saying Burton to be stationary and posing a threat when he to be shot. The lawyer claimed the ordeal that the last year had actually taken a toll fee on his client, who was housed in isolation in jail come ensure his safety and security from corridor members.

Price said he believed that Berry, who had actually no criminal record, was the key to his own acquittal.

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“He to be such a lovable, likable person that i think world understood and also accepted his version,” Price said. “Aubrey could never have won this case if the jury walk not believe him.”



As an elderly editor the investigations, Jack Leonard oversees the occupational of a team that investigative reporters in the Los Angeles Times’ subway section and coordinates investigative story in various other departments and investigative partnerships with other organizations. Together a reporter, he was part of the team the exposed fraud and abuse in California’s conservatorship system, a collection that won several national awards. He went ~ above to inspection how beforehand releases native L.A.’s jail system perverts justice and fosters more crime on the street. Later, he operated on a sweeping disclose of abuse and also corruption in the L.A. Ar Sheriff’s Department.