The murder trial of Bay area rapper Andre Mac Minister Dow started yesterday (July 14) in Las Vegas District Court.
Mac Minister is accused of killing two Kansas City, Missouri men in what prosecutors labeled an ongoing rap war between rappers from the Bay area and local artists.
Police have charged Mac Minister, born Andre Dow and Jason Corleone Mathis in connection with the May 2005 murders of Kansas City rapper Anthony "Fat Tone" Watkins and his companion, Jermaine "Cowboy" Akins, a local promoter.
Prosecutors accuse Mac Minister and Corleone of shooting and killing Fat Tone and Cowboy in retaliation for the November 2004 murder of revered Vallejo rapper Andre "Mac Dre" Hicks.
Prosecutors claim the murders were part of an ongoing rap war between rappers from the Bay and Kansas City, but Mac Dre was actually gunned down after an alleged dispute, over a payment for a concert, sources told AllHipHop.com.
Although it was never substantiated, many believed that Fat Tone was behind Mac Dre's murder, but he was never charged with the crime.
Fat Tone had been involved in several violent altercations prior to his death.
In 2003, he survived being shot multiple times with an AK-47 while riding in an SUV with San Francisco rapper Messy Marv and Sacramento rapper C-Bo.
In October of 2004, Fat Tone was shot at again, outside a Kansas City nightclub, just one month before the murder of Mac Dre.
Prosecutors claim Fat Tone and Cowboy later were lured to Las Vegas, with the promise of meeting a representatives for Snoop Doggs record label.
The two never made it to that meeting. Their bodies were later found - shot multiple times with an AK-47- in a construction area, outside of Las Vegas.
Security cameras from the MGM Grand captured Mac Minister leaving a hotel with the two men, just hours before they were murdered.
Shortly afterwards, a nationwide hunt began to capture Mac Minister, who was featured on Americas Most Wanted, before he was finally detained.
He was charged with two counts of murder with a deadly weapon and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder.
Mac Ministers defense claims that he was at a Las Vegas radio station when the murders were committed.
He also claimed that he and Fat Tone were friends, not enemies, who worked together in the music business.
Snoop Dogg may be called to testify during the trial, due to his relationship with Mac Minister, who was featured on the Long Beach rappers recent album Tha Blue Carpet Treatment.