Prosecutor: Puffy's Crew Contacted Witnesses
Telephone calls were made between Sean "Puffy" Combs or his entourage and witnesses who later testified the rap mogul did not have a gun during a nightclub shooting, according to records presented yesTelephone calls were made between Sean "Puffy" Combs or his entourage and witnesses who later testified the rap mogul did not have a gun during a nightclub shooting, according to records presented yesterday (March 7) at his gun and bribery trial in New York.
The three witnesses had testified about events during a Dec. 27, 1999, shooting at a Times Square club in which three people were wounded. Each witness denied speaking with the rap entrepreneur after the incident.
Club New York security guard Charise Myers said she never spoke to Combs after the incident, but records show a three-minute call from her home to Combs' cell phone on Jan. 8, 2000. The records also show five calls last January from a cell phone owned by Christopher Chambers, an auto technician who testified that he did not know Combs. Combs apparently called him once that month.
A third set of calls, 22 of them last December, came from witness Glen Beck's home to a Combs' bodyguard, Paul Offord. Saima Majid, a paralegal in the district attorney's office who analyzed the records, said she found no calls between Beck and Offord in the preceding year.
During cross-examination by Combs' lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, Majid said she could not tell who had made a call or answered a telephone. She could only say who owned a phone and that a call was made or received on it.
Prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos has accused the defense of witness tampering during the trial, now in its sixth week. Yesterday was the final day of testimony; closing statements are scheduled for Monday (March 12).
Combs' rap protege Jamaal "Shyne" Barrow, 21, is charged with three counts of attempted murder. Combs, 31, his bodyguard Anthony "Wolf" Jones, 34, are charged with criminal possession of two guns, and with bribery for allegedly trying to get Combs' driver, Wardell Fenderson, to say he owned one of the guns.
Earlier yesterday, Combs' former lawyer, Harvey Slovis, testified that he warned Combs to avoid Fenderson. He said the driver had admitted owning the gun and then recanted. He said he was worried that Fenderson was "trying to set Mr. Combs up" for criminal charges.
Combs and Jones face up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Barrow faces up to 25 years in prison on each of the three counts of attempted murder.
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