Hip-Hop News: Death Penalty Still Looms Over Hip Hop Rap Label Owner
Prosecuting attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf has filed a death penalty request for Kenneth (Supreme) McGriff and four other suspected gang members.
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Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
4/7/2006 1:31:22 PM

As many rap and hip-hop sites have reported, prosecuting attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf has filed a death penalty request for Kenneth (Supreme) McGriff and four other suspected members of McGriff’s Queens drug gang.

McGriff who is rumored to secretly own the hip-hop and rap label The Inc. Records, home to such hip-hop artists as rapper Ja Rule and Ashanti. During last year's federal government case against The Inc. and its founders Irv and Chris Gotti, federal prosecutors attempted to link Kenneth (Supreme) McGriff. to the label, alleging that he used the Gotti brothers to launder more than $1 million in drug money.

Now U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has suddenly decided against seeking the death penalty for four suspected members of Kenneth (Supreme) McGriff’s Queens drug gang - except for Kenneth (Supreme) McGriff.

David Ruhnke, Supreme’s attorney said the switch, coming just 13 days after Gonzales declared the death penalty justified for all five defendants, proves the original notices were "shams." Ruhnke said they were designed to obtain an adjournment of the racketeering trial, slated to start April 17 in Brooklyn, to give prosecutors more time.

"It is highly likely - virtually indisputable - that final decisions had not been reached as to any of the five defendants when these false notices were served," Ruhnke wrote in a letter to the judge.

Those given a reprieve include Nicole Brown, a 43-year-old woman who allegedly served as a lookout in the 2001 murder of aspiring rap artist Eric (E Money Bags) Smith. Brown is the mother of nine children.

Brooklyn Federal Judge Frederic Block is weighing a motion to throw out the death penalty notices because they were filed so late. McGriff is charged with ordering two murders.

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