Combs' Adversary Won't Testify

The man with whom Sean "Puffy" Combs argued in a nightclub just before shots rang out will not testify at the rap impresario's trial, lawyers said in a New York court yesterday (March 5). Instead, jur

The man with whom Sean "Puffy" Combs argued in a nightclub just before shots rang out will not testify at the rap impresario's trial, lawyers said in a New York court yesterday (March 5). Instead, jurors will consider a statement from Matthew "Scar" Allen, who gave prosecutors and police his version of events that led to the shooting at Club New York early on Dec. 27, 1999.

Allen yelled, "I'll kill you!" at Combs and then threw a wad of money at him seconds before the shooting started around 2:45 a.m., witnesses have testified. Three people were wounded by gunfire. Allen's statement says that as Combs' entourage passed by, he was jostled and he pushed back. He also said money was thrown, but he does not say he threw it or that he threatened Combs.

Jurors will also hear that lawyers for both sides have agreed that Allen gave his statement while under arrest and without his lawyer present.

Combs, 31, bodyguard Anthony "Wolf" Jones, 34, and rap protege Jamal "Shyne" Barrow, 21, are on trial on charges stemming from the shooting. Combs and Jones are charged with illegal gun possession and bribery for allegedly trying to get Combs' driver to claim ownership of a pistol. Barrow is charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting the three people inside the club.

Earlier yesterday, a witness testified that Barrow did not fire the first shots in the melee. Tabon Terrence Jones, 34, a photographer from Philadelphia, said the gunman "had braids in his hair and they were wrapped tightly all around." Barrow has closely cropped hair.

"I heard some loud, angry noises going on, and I turned and looked," Jones said. "A man put his arm in the air and shot a pistol." Jones testified that 45 minutes before the shooting, he saw the gunman talking to two other men in the rest room. He said he was sure the gunman was not Barrow.

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