News: Lil Wayne Felony Trial Bans Cameras, Judge Rules In Rapper's Favor

Saturday, May 9, 2009 10:00AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

An Arizona judge has ruled against the media's usage of cameras during an upcoming trial for Lil Wayne, who faces multiple drug and weapons charges from an arrest last year.

The decision to ban cameras was made yesterday (May 8) afternoon.

Ruling on media requests to have photographers in the courtroom, Superior Court Judge Mark Wayne Reeves concluded that media interest in the case is prompted not by the facts but by the celebrity status of Lil Wayne, who faces drug and weapons charges. The rap star's rights to a fair trial outweigh the media's desire to film or photograph trial proceedings, Reeves said. Reporters will be able to attend and report on the trial. (Yuma Sun)

Weezy's attorneys were recently denied a request to have his case pushed back to the Grand Jury last month.

In their motion, which was based on the misconduct with weapons charge, attorneys James Tilson and Natman Schaye argued the Grand Jury was not given all the elements involved in the alleged offense, and that led to an errorneous finding of probable cause. Superior Court Judge Mark Wayne Reeves, who is presiding over the case, said he based his decision on having read the Grand Jury transcripts as to what the factual basis of the offense was, the statutes the offense fell under and that there is a different standard of finding of probable cause between a trial jury and a Grand Jury. (SOHH)

Weezy was originally arrested January 2008 on multiple felony charges.

The latest legal entanglement for the rapper came when a search of his tour bus at a border checkpoint near Dateland, Arizona, uncovered nearly 4 ounces of marijuana, more more than 1 ounce of cocaine, 41 grams of ecstasy, drug paraphernalia, $22,000 in cash and a .40-caliber pistol that was registered to Wayne in Florida, where he has a concealed-weapons permit. Wayne was released from a Yuma County jail after posting $10,185 in bail. (MTV)

His lawyer previously requested the case be sent back late last year.

The rapper's attorney, James Tilson, is requesting the case be sent back to a grand jury in order to have a new finding in the case. Tilson alleges the grand jury threw in additional charges the county attorney's office were unaware of. There is also a request to have training records of the canine dog, which alerted authorities to narcotics on Weezy's tour bus last winter leading to his arrest. (Associated Press)

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