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  1. #1
    Pedro56's Avatar
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    Gotta Love the "Ghetto Scene"

    Rapper's pal guilty of paying witness

    April 16, 2007
    BY ANNIE SWEENEY Crime Reporter asweeney@suntimes.com

    The girlfriend of a Chicago rapper who has been accused of murder was found guilty last week of paying off a witnesses to the shooting.

    Felicia Hamilton, 34, was convicted last week of obstructing justice and communicating with witnesses after a three-hour bench trial before Cook County Judge Marjorie Laws, prosecutors said.

    Hamilton was accused of paying a witness $1,000 to change his story about whether he saw the 34-year-old rap artist Belo -- born Darnell Smith -- shoot a man in November 2002 during a fight over gang-related drug turf.

    Prosecutors said witnesses are often pressured or, as in this case, paid to change to their story. But it is rare to have a witness who will testify about it, leaving prosecutors unable to pursue the people who interfere with the judicial process.

    "It goes right to the heart of the criminal justice system,'' said Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Karen Kerbis, who prosecuted the case. "We see recants every day in courtrooms. We become so immune to it.''

    Changes story again

    Hamilton was originally accused of paying three witnesses in the case to recant previous testimony. Prosecutors were able to bring forward one witness who testified to being bribed and wore a wire to catch Hamilton discussing the tampering, Kerbis said.

    In fact, in a potential last-minute glitch, the witness tried to change his story again during the trial last week, denying that Hamilton ever gave him money.

    Kerbis, who was questioning him when he changed his story, pursued the line of questioning anyway. She quickly asked him: "What'd you do with the money Felicia gave you?"

    He immediately responded: "Spent it on drugs and gambling, like every day.''

    Hamilton faces one to three years, and Smith's murder trial is scheduled to start July 9, Kerbis said.

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  2. #2
    10-42Adam's Avatar
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  3. #3
    eMachine's Avatar
    eMachine is offline Ret. Lt w/no class
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    That's just cheap.
    "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker." - Gener Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (original)



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