LOS ANGELES — A jury acquitted a man Friday of killing up-and-coming Atlanta rapper Dolla during a shooting last year at a crowded, upscale Los Angeles mall. -I heard about this yesterday and am simply appalled.
Jurors rejected prosecutors’ contentions that the killing of Dolla, whose real name was Roderick Anthony Burton II, was a callous act of apparent revenge.
Burton and his accused shooter, Aubrey Louis Berry, had been involved in a fight at an Atlanta club less than two weeks before the shooting last May.
Berry’s attorney had contended the shooting was an act of self-defense, emphasizing that Burton — a protege of hip-hop artist Akon — glorified a violent gangster lifestyle in his rap lyrics and online videos. How was it self defense? Did Dolla have a gun pulled out on him? If they were fighting with bare hands than hey…let the best man win. Obviously, this MURDERER didn’t think he had a fair chance so he took the easy way out.
Berry, who has remained jailed since the May 18, 2009, shooting, hugged his attorney after the verdict was read.
Burton’s mother, Dayne Robinson, sobbed.
“Oh please, somebody help me,” she said, as she and other family members filed out of the courtroom.
Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace painted Berry as a killer who methodically aimed at Burton during the shooting, then ordered a valet to retrieve his rented sport utility vehicle while still clutching his gun.
In his closing arguments Monday, Grace claimed Berry had no remorse.
“Defendant Berry murdered Roderick Burton in cold blood, then tried to escape to Atlanta,” Grace said.
Defense Attorney Howard Price, however, painted a very different picture of Berry, who was soft-spoken last week as he testified about a series of incidents that led up to the shooting.
The college-educated Berry said he worked in commercial marketing, in the music industry, and “never killed anything” growing up. Price portrayed Burton, conversely, as someone who proclaimed a violent streak, bragging in his lyrics about carrying guns, singing “You be running when I shoot, I be shooting where you running” in one tune. -Oh come on! So because you are college educated, you can’t kill anyone?!?! I’m getting angry all over again! I knew they would try and use Dolla’s lyrics to justify him having a violent persona. They do this to all rappers!
Price said Berry opened fire because Burton threatened to kill him and he feared he had a gun. The 24-year-old Atlanta resident was fearful because he believed the rapper had gang ties. –This statement right here should have sent Berry to prison. You received a threat on your life and instead of going to the police and reporting it, you take out a gun and shoot someone. You feared he had a gun…well, did you actually see him with it?