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Hip-Hop News: Lil Kim Jury Selection
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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
2/19/2005 6:15:08 PM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Lil Kim.

If you don't know anything about Tupac Shakur, "Notorious B.I.G.," Eminem or Sean "Puffy" Combs, but Elvis rings in your ears, then you just might be the perfect person for this federal court gig.

Court officials are looking for jurors for the upcoming trial of hip-hop diva Lil' Kim.

Not just anyone, though.

In an effort to weed out those who might know too much about hip-hops bad boys -- and girls -- court officials have put together a 15-page questionnaire for prospectvie jurors, who arrive Wednesday.

The problem, of course, is just who to include.

"My problem with the list is people are going to associate certain events with certain names, like 'Sean Puffy Combs,'" Lil' Kim's lawyer, Mel Sachs, told U.S. District Judge Gerard Lynch Friday. "Most people who read the newspapers or watch television will associate Mr. Combs with a gun."

"Perhaps we should throw in a few ringers, as in a lineup," Lynch suggested, "such as Elvis Presley?"

Lil' Kim, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, and her personal assistant, Monique Dopwell, are charged with conspiring from 2001 to 2003 to commit perjury, obstruct justice and make false statements to derail a federal investigation into a 2001 shooting with a rival hip-hop group outside Hot 97 radio station.

The two were indicted last year along with Lil' Kim's manager, Hillary Weston, and two other members of the performer's entourage -- Damion Butler and Suif Jackson.

All except Lil' Kim and Dopwell have pleaded guilty.

With their trial expected to start Feb. 28, jurors can expect to learn more about hip-hop than they may want, including the differences between gangsta and gangster and mafia and "Junior M.A.F.I.A."

But court officials do not want them to be asked about the more notorious of the industries artists, including Shakur who was killed in 1996 and Notorious B.I.G., a friend of Lil' Kim who is also known "Biggie Smalls" and "Biggie."

It is the Notorious B.I.G. connection that Assistant Manhattan U.S. Attorney Cathy Seibel told Lynch would play a part in Lil' Kim's trial.

Seibel said the government would show that Jones and many of those involved in the shooting were affiliated with or friends of Biggie, whose real name is Christopher Wallace.

"The way they met and became friends is because they were close to Mr. Wallace," she said of the artist who was gunned down in 1997. "We're going to prove how these people knew each other and for how long."

Since jurors might also hear about Lil' Kim's former group "Junior M.A.F.I.A.," Sachs suggested the words "the musical group" precede it's name.

Lynch rejected that suggestion.

"I don't think too many people say, 'Oh yeah, I'm a fan of like John Gotti's music,'" he said.

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