Charges against the man accused of murdering
New Orleans, Louisiana rapper James "Soulja Slim" Tapp have been refused
by prosecutors, who claim there was insufficient evidence to prove the crime.
Detectives said Garelle Smith had been paid $10,000
to kill the rapper and claimed that his murder had something to do with the
record industry and a rival record label.
Prosecutors claim they dropped the murder charges
against Smith as they strengthen their evidence. Smith is still behind bars,
charged with another murder, that took place in December.
When questioned about the murder, police said
they were greeted with silence after Smith allegedly told them "'Take your
best shot. Do whatever you have to do."
Detectives also posthumously accused Tapp of
the murder of Robert Lee Paige Jr., 30, in September. Paige was shot and thrown
into a lagoon, with his body weighted down with cinder blocks.
Third District Police Capt. James Scott said
his department was looking into Tapp as a possible suspect in other shootings
"We had a known credible witness who came
in and gave us circumstances of the murder which substantiated information that,
through our investigation, only we had," Scott told the The Times-Picayune.
"There would be no other reason for a person to come in and name Soulja
Slim as a perpetrator after the fact. There would be nothing for that person
Tapp's family and close friends denied that he
was Paige's murderer, saying Tapp was on the verge of super stardom and was
planning to promote a new album.
"That's just their way of closing their
books," Tapp's manager, Anthony Murray said. "Nothin' on the street
was serious enough for him to bother with like that. Nothing that crucial. He
wasn't on that type of time. He was on artist-type time."