Opening Remarks In Lil Kim Case Start Tomorrow, Judge Questions Jury Selection

Jury selection started today (Feb. 28) in the federal trial

of Lil’ Kim, who is charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly

lying to a federal grand jury in relation to a broad daylight shootout in New

York.

Testimony could begin as early as tomorrow.

Lil’ Kim, born Kimberley Jones, and her assistant Monique

Dopewell are charged with perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements.

On Friday, Judge Gerald Lynch scolded prosecutors and defense

lawyers for being careless in the jury selection process.

According to Newsday, some of the 200 potential jurors made

comments about Lil Kim and rap music that Lynch deemed unacceptable.

"She’s a rapper that spends a lot of money on diamonds,”

one potential juror stated. “She seems like she would do almost anything

for money."

Cathy Seibel, who is the Assistant Manhattan U.S. Attorney,

told the judge that some of the biased jurors made it through due to clerical

errors.

The explanation didn’t appease Lynch, who pointed to another

juror’s answer that implied rap artists “seem to shoot each other.”

Lynch said that even though these jurors were allowed through,

their negative views made it certain they would be dismissed.

Last week Hillary Weston, Kim’s long time business adviser,

pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of passport fraud, for making a reservation

for Damion Butler to travel outside of the United States knowing he had a fake

passport.

Butler was one of two men accused in the shooting. Suif Jackson

was also charged. Both recently pleaded guilty.

Prosecutors claimed

that Jackson and Butler were involved in a confrontation that started inside

of Hot 97’s Greenwich Village offices and spilled out on to the street.

The result was

a daylight shootout that left an associate of Capone-N-Noreaga, Efrain Ocasio,

with a gunshot wound in the upper back.

Kim had appeared in the station earlier that day and claimed

she wasn’t present when the shooting took place.

Prosecutors allege

Kim helped the men flee, a charge she has denied.

"I am completely innocent of the charges I have been accused of, and am

very confident that my co-defendants and I will win this case in the courtroom,"

Lil Kim told AllHipHop.com in August of 2004. "This case is a witch-hunt

against the Hip-Hop industry."

Jackson has since pleaded guilty to the shooting and was sentenced

to 12 years in prison.

Butler pleaded guilty in January and was awaiting sentencing

as of last week.

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