Rapper's Lyrics Used Against Him In Murder Trial Upheld By Nevada Supreme Court
(AllHipHop News) Rappers take heed. Anything you say in a song can, and will, be used against you in the court of law. After Virginia rapper Antwain "Twain Gotti” Steward lyrics led to his arrest in a double homicide case in July, rapper Deyundrea "Khali" Holmes' conviction on first-degree robbery and murder in Nevada was upheld by the state's Supreme Court.
Court News Service reports Holmes was found guilty of the charges after prosecutors claimed raps he wrote while waiting for extradition to Nevada were confessions to the crimes. Holmes, along with his accomplice, Max Reed, were accused of killing Kevin "Mo" Nelson after robbing the alleged drug dealer and record studio owner of jewelry in 2003.
"His assailant tore off Nelson's shirt and chain necklace, pistol-whipped him, and then tried to drag Nelson from the parking lot into the studio without success. Frustrated, Nelson's assailant removed his ski mask and said, 'I'm going to shoot this f*cking guy,' which he did. Nelson staggered, then fell and died," stated the ruling. Nelson was found with his pockets "bunny-eared" or turned inside out.
Holmes penned a song called "Drug Deala" while incarcerated in California. Part of the writings included the following lyrics:
But now I'm uh big dog, my static is real large. Uh neighborhood superstar. Man I push uh hard line. My attitude shitty n*gga. You don't want to test this. I catching slipping at the club and jack you for your necklace. F*ck parking lot pimping. Man I'm parking lot jacking, running through your pockets with uh ski mask on straight laughing.
Holmes defense team argued that the lyrics were just unoriginal and clichéd artistic expression and should not be used a factual evidence. His lawyers believed the lyrics also prejudiced the jury against the defendant. The Nevada Supreme Court upheld the conviction in a 2-1 decision stating that the rap lyrics were admissible evidence in the case.
"It is one thing to exclude defendant-authored fictional accounts, be they rap lyrics or some other form of artistic expression, when offered to show a propensity for violence," wrote Chief Justice Kristina Pickering in the majority opinion. "It is quite another when the defendant-authored writing incorporates details of the crime charged."