Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
10/29/2004 5:55:05 AM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Notorious B.I.G..
The mother of late rapper Notorious B.I.G has agreed to drop a former suspect in the rap star's slaying from a wrongful-death lawsuit, it was reported Friday.
Voletta Wallace had accused Amir Muhammad, also known as Harry Billups, of shooting her son outside the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles after a music industry party on March 9, 1997.
Her decision to dismiss Muhammad as a defendant followed a pretrial deposition during which he denied any connection to the rapper's death and offered to take a lie-detector test, unidentified sources close to the negotiations told the Los Angeles Times.
The confidential settlement didn't include any payments, the sources said. Wallace's attorneys refused to discuss additional details of the agreement with the newspaper.
Muhammad could not be reached for comment Friday morning, but he has long maintained his innocence and never been questioned by police in the killing of Notorious B.I.G, whose real name is Christopher Wallace.
Voletta Wallace's 2002 lawsuit still names the city of Los Angeles and Muhammad's former college roommate, David A. Mack, a disgraced Los Angeles police officer now serving a 14-year federal prison sentence for bank robbery. It accused Mack of hiring Muhammad to shoot the hip-hop artist and police of failing to investigate properly after a fellow officer came under suspicion.
Wallace's lawyers originally told the city she would settle out of court for $105 million but later reduced the amount to $18 million, the Times said. The proposal was rejected by the City Council last month.
Earlier this month, a judge granted her attorneys' request for a postponement until April to allow more time for discovery in the case and issued an order dividing the trial into three separate phases.
Police had once investigated whether Muhammad was paid to shoot Wallace by west coast rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight and Mack.
Muhammad became part of the probe when a jailhouse informant familiar with Mack told detectives that the rapper's killer went by a "Middle East" sounding name. Muhammad had also visited Mack in prison, at the request of Mack's family.
Investigators have not found a murder weapon or witnesses linking Mack to the shooting. He has denied any involvement in the murder.
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