New York rapper Ja Rule‘s felony gun case has taken an unexpected turn after a judge decided to allow DNA evidence to be used against him in his August trial.
Details on the ruling began to circulate on the Internet Tuesday (June 8) afternoon.
Rapper Ja Rule was dealt a legal blow Tuesday when a judged ruled DNA evidence could be used by the prosecution during his gun possession trial. A lawyer for the 34-year-old performer, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, questioned whether tactics used to test a small amount of DNA recovered from the weapon are scientifically reliable. Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Richard Carruthers decided that “low copy” DNA evidence is legally acceptable and may be used in Atkins’s trial going forward. Atkins’s request for a hearing on the matter was denied in a written ruling. (DNA Info)
Rule will have an opportunity to defend himself on August 18.
The August court date comes after the judge denied Rule’s request for a hearing regarding DNA evidence. According to the New York Post, prosecutors claim that a miniscule amount of the hip-hop artist’s DNA was found on the handgun. However, Rule’s lawyer, Stacey Richman, has argued that the DNA sample is too tiny to provide reliable test results. Yet, the judge asserted the reliability of the DNA test methods, referencing a case in which the same DNA testing that Rule’s defense is contesting became instrumental in exonerating a defendant who spent four years in jail. The Post also reported that Richman will explore whether the judge might be willing to re-evaluate his decision regarding the DNA testing. (MTV)
An appeal on the DNA decision is reportedly in the works for Rule.
Defense lawyer Stacey Richman said she planned to appeal the ruling. Ja Rule, who has pleaded not guilty to criminal weapons possession, was allowed to skip the proceeding for a movie shoot out of town. The case against him stems from a stop of his $250,000-plus Maybach sports car after a July 2007 concert. Police say they found a loaded semiautomatic gun in a rear door of the car. (Associated Press)
Aside from legal matters, Rule is currently putting together his new album, Venni Vetti Vecci.
“It’s been a good ride, you know what I’m sayin’? It’s been a wild ride but it’s been fun. But with this album I feel like I’ve conquered all those little obstacles that I had to get around, and now I’m ready to get this product out to the world again…I worked with a lot of different producers on this album. Some new guys, some veterans. The album’s put together really well. It just has an overall feel to it, the sound is vintage Ja Rule, but then it’s different, I’ve been playing with this new sound that I’ve been trying to develop. It’s kinda hot, it’s David Guetta meets the hip-hop world. The beats different, they’re fresh, some of them are hard bass driven, and some of them have the big drums, big kick. It’s kinda that sound that’s tearin’ up overseas right now, but we haven’t really put our finger on it yet over here in the states. So I kinda put my own stamp on it with the sound and the music and stuff, and hip-hopped it out. It sounds real good.” (Dubcnn)
No further details have been revealed as of now.