Grammy-winning rapper Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Carter appeared in court today (June 23) for a pre-trial hearing over weapons and drugs charges that turned the focus on the drug-sniffing dog.
Wayne’s lawyer, James Tilson, told an Arizona judge the U.S. Border Patrol has not yet released records he requested earlier this year.
Tilson said border officials told the Yuma County Attorney’s Office they do not plan to release the training record of the drug-sniffing dog used in the incident. “If the dog is not reliable, then that puts the entire probable cause for the stop into question,” he said. Tilson also plans to renew a request for any video recorded by border cameras the day the rapper was stopped. (Associated Press)
An Arizona judge previously ruled against the media’s usage of cameras during the hearing.
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 earlier this year.
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)
Wayne was 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)
Weezy is due back in court Tuesday, August 11th.