Misdemeanor assault charges against Hip-Hop mogul James Prince were upgraded to felonious aggravated assault by a grand jury yesterday (November 30).
Prince is accused of orchestrating the dramatic beating of Ronald “Ronnie” Bookman, the owner of recording studio 7303.
Bookman filed a lawsuit against Prince in April, alleging that Prince ordered men to attack him at Princes Fresh Recreation Center Gym in Houston, Texas.
Bookman had recently established a record label, 7303 Records.
He claims he was lured to Princes gym to discuss the clearance of vocals by rapper Bun B., who was supposed to appear on an album Bookman was releasing.
In exchange, Bun B. recorded his gold selling album Trill at 7303s studios at a discounted rate.
Bookman claims Prince and Rap-A-Lot Records refused to license the record, after it was learned that Warner Brothers approached Bookman with an offer.
“He told me that I had been talking about Rap-A-Lot Records, and we went back and forth with that,” Bookman told AllHipHop.com in a previous statement. “He put somebody on the phone and we
chopped that up..then I asked him: ‘now what?’ He said ‘uh huh, OK, OK … now let’s see how you gonna like this!’ And then he opened a door and those seven guys came rushing out and did their number on me.”
Prince categorically denied the accusations in a previous statement to AllHipHop.com.
“If anyone with good sense would pull this guy Ronnie Bookman’s record, they would see how bad his credibility stinks,” J. Prince told AllHipHop.com. “The true facts will be revealed in a court of law.”
Bookman suffered a broken nose and head injuries including two blacks eyes, one of which required surgery.
“This was a vicious act of intimidation, plain and simple,” said John B. Thomas, lead counsel for Bookman. “We believe Mr. Prince’s plan was to eliminate competition in the Houston Rap and Hip-Hop music business through the use of threats, intimidation and violence.”
Prince faces up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted.