A police officer testified today (Feb. 9) in New York that Sean ''Puffy'' Combs sported a large ring on his hand after a 1999 arrest -- a birthday present from Jennifer Lopez that prosecutors say Comb
A police officer testified today (Feb. 9) in New York that Sean ''Puffy'' Combs sported a large ring on his hand after a 1999 arrest -- a birthday present from Jennifer Lopez that prosecutors say Combs used in a bid to bribe his way out of trouble.
Officer William Meyer, recalled to the witness stand by prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos, said he remembered the ring was on Combs' left hand as the rap mogul used a pay phone outside a holding cell in the Midtown South Precinct.
''I saw it when he was on the phone in his cell,'' Meyer testified. ''It was big.''
Meyer, who vouchered Combs' property after his arrest on weapons charges, also provided a peek into what the well-heeled clubgoer carries these days: Combs turned over $8,000 cash, a cell phone and a microcassette recorder.
Under cross-examination, defense attorney Benjamin Brafman asked Meyer if Combs was wearing any other jewelry. The officer said he could not remember any jewelry except for the ring.
''And yet you remember, 13 months later, that Mr. Combs was wearing a ring?'' Brafman asked. ''Yes,'' Meyer replied.
No jewelry was vouchered because the people in custody -- Combs; his girlfriend, Lopez; his bodyguard, Anthony ''Wolf'' Jones, and driver Wardell Fenderson -- asked if they could hold onto it, Meyer said.
Prosecutors have charged that Combs offered Fenderson the diamond pinkie ring -- a gift from Lopez for his birthday -- as collateral for a $50,000 cash bribe if the driver would take a gun rap for the rapper. Fenderson was driving the sports utility vehicle carrying Combs, Lopez and the bodyguard as they fled the Club New York after gunfire erupted inside the Manhattan hip-hop spot.
Combs, 31, and Jones, 34, are on trial on two counts of gun possession. One count pertains to the gun found in the SUV, and the second relates to the gun allegedly flung out of the SUV's window. Combs faces the additional bribery charge. If convicted, he could receive up to 15 years in prison. Lopez is not charged with anything.
Later, a police ballistic expert testified that bullets recovered from inside the nightclub matched the 9 mm luger recovered from the waistband of Combs' co-defendant and protege, Jamal ''Shyne'' Barrow.
Barrow faces three counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting three people during a dispute in which a man threw a wad of cash in Combs' face inside the club.
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