After being detained for almost four weeks by immigration officials following his incarceration for close to nine years for his involvement in a 1999 club shooting in New York, rapper Jamal "Shyne" Barrow (now legally named Moses Levi) is now a free man.
Shyne landed at about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Oct. 28) afternoon, and was greeted at the Phillip Goldson International Airport's VIP section by his father, Hon. Dean Barrow; uncle Hon. Michael Finnegan; brother Anwar Barrow; his grandmother; other family members and a slew of media and paparazzi, according to Belize newspaper The Guardian. Also there to welcome him were friends from New York City, who had taken the trip solely for the occasion.
"Shyne did not speak to the media based on the advice of his attorney, Prof. Ogletree, who believes that public statement may prejudice his ongoing case with the United States' immigration officials," said his uncle, Hon. Michael Finnegan, on his behalf, during a short press conference, reports the paper. "Prof. Ogletree is scheduled to arrive in Belize on Saturday, October, 31, and at that time he will be accompanied by Shyne as he speaks to the media."
The paper also reports that Barrow, who is fighting to return to the United States and plans on continuing his entertainment career, stopped at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel, where he spoke to troubled youths, right after exiting the airport.
On December 27, 1999, three people were shot inside Club New York, a midtown Manhattan nightclub. After authorities chased a sport utility vehicle that raced through red traffic lights, they found Bad Boy labelhead Sean "Diddy" Combs -- the label Shyne was signed to -- Combs' then girlfriend, singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, bodyguard Anthony "Wolf" Jones and chauffeur Wardell Fenderson.
A 9mm pistol was discovered in the car which resulted in all the passengers in the car being arrested.
Shyne was charged for attempted murder, assault, criminal use and possession of a firearm and reckless endangerment. All accused were acquitted of their charges except Shyne. He was acquitted of attempted murder and one count of assault but was found guilty of all other charges. On March 16, 2001, he was sentenced to ten years in prison, while Combs, who stood trial, was acquitted of all charges.
Shyne was most recently signed to Def Jam records, after splitting from Bad Boy in the aftermath of the incident.