Welcome to the [ Notorious BIG / Biggie Smalls ] online community.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

  • Tip Puts Biggie Trial on Hold

    surprise twist in Notorious B.I.G. wrongful-death trial. Testimony has been halted for the next few days after lawyers for the family of the late rapper, whose real name is Christopher Wallace, apparently received a potential trial-turning tip bolstering their theory that disgraced Los Angeles cops played a part in Biggie's murder.

    U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper excused jurors early Friday after Wallace family attorney Perry Sanders came forward with news that his team had been contacted by a Louisiana man who purported to have key information. Once jurors left the courtroom, Sanders told the judge that his tipster claimed that former officers David Mack and Rafael Perez had confessed to two jailhouse informants that they had killed the hip-hopster after a music industry party in L.A.'s mid-Wilshire district on March 9, 1997.

    Sanders told the judge that the unidentified tipster--who referred to himself only as "Frank" and is believed to be a current or former LAPD officer--called on Thursday and revealed that he had attended a police disciplinary hearing on Dec. 11, 2000, during which two jailhouse snitches stated that "they had information regarding confessions to this homicide" by Mack and Perez.

    Sanders claimed that other police officials warned the informants not to talk about the alleged confessions.

    The identities of the jailhouse informants are not known. Vincent Marella, the attorney representing the city of Los Angeles in the case, downplayed the phone tip during Friday's hearing, calling Sanders' actions "histrionics."

    Cooper initially had scheduled testimony to resume Tuesday after lawyers for both sides evaluated the relevant evidence, including tapes and transcripts of the police disciplinary hearing. On Monday, Cooper met with the attorneys and discussed how to proceed. Per City News Service, Sanders said that a recording of the session does indeed have an informant implicating Mack and Perez. Sanders reportedly told the judge he is trying to get more documents from the city.

    Following the Monday meeting, Cooper ordered city lawyers to give Sanders the materials and pushed the trial restart date back to Thursday.

    Mack and Perez are both behind bars for other crimes. The former is serving a 14-year prison term for armed robbery, while the latter is locked up for his role in the LAPD's Rampart corruption scandal.

    The Wallace family, led by the rapper's mother, Voletta, and widow, Faith Evans, filed a federal civil rights and wrongful-death lawsuit against the LAPD three years ago, accusing the department of botching the investigation into the rapper's death to cover up the fact that the rogue cops may have committed the crime.

    The family says the department also failed to protect Biggie despite evidence of increasing bad blood between the rapper's East Coast contingent (he was part of Sean "Puffy" Combs' New York-based Bad Boy Entertainment) and West Coast rappers (led by Marion "Suge" Knight's Death Row Records). The suit cites the bicoastal rap rivalry and the drive-by shooting death of Wallace's rival Tupac Shakur six months earlier as reasons the LAPD should have been more prepared when Biggie was gunned down during a visit to the city in March 1997.

    The Wallaces' suit claims Mack--acting on orders from Knight--arranged for the shooting in retaliation for Shakur's death. Mack was originally named as a defendants in the lawsuit but was dropped before the trial began last week. Knight was never named in the suit and has never been criminally charged in connection to the murder.

    Since the trial began last Wednesday, a number of witnesses and informants testified on behalf of the LAPD that Mack was not involved in Biggie's death and that the department considered Knight their prime suspect.

    Mikko Alanne, a writer working on a screenplay for HBO about Wallace's killing, told jurors Friday that an LAPD detective had claimed there was a videotape showing Mack and Perez present when Knight allegedly planned Biggie's death. The tape has yet to surface.

Back to Top