After four days of confusion and indecisiveness in the Murder Inc. money laundering trial, Judge Edward Korman finally ruled that any information regarding the May 24, 2000, shooting of rapper 50 Cent had no relevance to the case. The prosecution is not even allowed to utter the rapper’s name in the presence of the jury.
The ruling was a major blow to the prosecution, which contends Murder Inc. founders Irv and Chris Lorenzo laundered money for reputed drug kingpin Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff. They also claim McGriff engineered the shooting of 50 Cent.
Prosecutor Carolyn Pokorny started out the second half of day four with testimony about Chris Lorenzo’s gambling problems, which ultimately proved inconclusive. Pokorny hit yet another roadblock when she tried to submit lyrics from songs recorded by Ja Rule that made reference to drug dealing. Judge Korman deemed the lyrics irrelevant and did not allow them in as evidence.
With the jury out of the courtroom, Pokorny then tried to submit letters that were found on Chris Lorenzo’s desk during the federal investigation into Murder Inc. that took place in 2003.
The letters were written from Gerald “Prince” Miller to McGriff. In them, Miller stresses the importance of not handling business over the phone, and pays homage to his uncle saying, “Although I love you as my uncle, I respect you as a Don.”
Miller also allegedly stabbed another inmate for talking recklessly about certain members of Murder Inc. while serving time in federal prison. However, Judge Korman declined to admit the letters into evidence.
Seemingly disappointed in the judge’s ruling, Pokorny said to the court, “I’m confident we will be done by Monday [the next scheduled trial date].”
After the jury was dismissed for the day, Chris Lorenzo turned toward his family with both thumbs raised in the air as he gave a sigh of relief.
Meet the Murder Inc trial players, read back stories, review case filings and comment at SOHH.com.