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Rapper jailed over child support

 

 

 

 

US rapper Beanie Sigel was temporarily jailed for not keeping up his child support payments but was released after paying a total of $28,000 (£16,000).

 

A Philadelphia Family Court judge jailed him for one hour on Thursday as he owed payments to two women.

 

Sigel had told the court he paid both women in cash but there were no records of this taking place.

 

He was released from a New Jersey prison three months ago after serving a sentence for gun and drug charges.

 

The rapper's lawyer, Walter McHugh, said his client, whose real name is Dwight Grant, found it difficult keeping up the payments.

 

Attempted murder acquittal

 

Mr Grant, 31, has sold more than one million records and is signed to Roc-a-Fella Records which was founded by his mentor, rap mogul Jay-Z, as well as producer Damon Dash.

 

He has spent much of the last year in jail, rehab or being held inside his home under house arrest.

 

He was also acquitted of attempted murder on in September after a jury found him not guilty of shooting a man on a crowded city street in July 2003.

 

It was the second time the rapper had stood trial for allegedly shooting Terrance Speller.

 

The first trial, held last year, ended with a deadlocked jury.

 

'Insulting'

 

Mr Grant, who has had three albums in the US top five, was released from prison in August after serving 10 months for illegal gun possession.

 

He faces another trial for allegedly breaking a man's eye socket during a row in January 2003.

 

Mr McHugh added that prosecutors were targeting his client in the child-support case because of sour grapes over the September mistrial. Chief Assistant District Attorney Maria McLaughlin said the allegation was "insulting."

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Rapper shooting case opens again

 

 

 

Beanie Sigel's first trial was attended by Jay-Z and Beyonce

 

 

US rapper Beanie Sigel has appeared in court to stand trial on an attempted murder charge for the second time.

 

Sigel - whose real name is Dwight Grant - attended the Philadelphia court on Wednesday for a retrial on a charge that he shot Terrance Speller in 2003.

 

The first trial, held last year, ended with a deadlocked jury.

 

Mr Grant, who has had three albums in the US top five, was released from prison last month after serving 10 months for illegal gun possession.

 

In the opening statements, assistant district lawyer Lynn Nichols told the court that the rapper shot Mr Speller and urged jurors not to let the star's fame get in the way of the facts.

 

Defence lawyer Fortunate N Perry Jr said he intended to discredit key witnesses - Mr Speller and a friend who came to his aid - saying both have criminal records and were intoxicated at the time.

 

Drug admission

 

Giving evidence, Mr Speller said he first told police he was shot near a Philadelphia bar during a robbery but a day later said Mr Grant had shot him.

 

He said he was initially too afraid to tell the truth.

 

"I wanted to make sure I was going to be all right and my family was going to be all right," he said.

 

Mr Speller said he had argued with the teen daughter of the rapper's girlfriend on the evening of the shooting.

 

He said he believed this could have been the motive for the shooting.

 

Under cross examination, Mr Speller acknowledged that he had smoked marijuana and drank heavily that night.

 

Meanwhile, Mr Grant faces another trial for allegedly breaking a man's eye socket during a row in January 2003.

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Man dies after 50 Cent screening

 

 

Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson stars in the controversial film

 

 

Hip-hop star 50 Cent has said he is "saddened" after a fatal shooting at a Pennsylvania cinema where his film Get Rich Or Die Tryin' was screening.

 

Sheldon Flowers, 30, was shot three times at the Loews Cineplex at West Homestead, near Pittsburgh, after an argument broke out between four people.

 

Police said Mr Flowers, who died in hospital, was carrying an unregistered gun without a permit.

 

The film - based on 50 Cent's life - has caused controversy in the US.

 

The rapper - whose real name is Curtis Jackson - has been shot nine times, spent time in prison and dealt drugs.

 

He told US network ABC: "I feel for the victim's family in this situation.

 

"But, you know, these weren't kids. This was a 30-year-old man who had a dispute with three other guys."

 

Billboards removed

 

Police said Mr Flowers - who had just been to see the film - and one other person had fired the shots, but they had no suspects. The row began in the toilet, before spilling out into the lobby. It is not known what film the three men had seen.

 

 

 

 

 

Posters for the film have already caused controversy

 

 

Loews said the cinema would stop showing Get Rich Or Die Tryin' while the investigation continued.

 

In California, billboards promoting the movie were removed from areas near Los Angeles schools after community leaders claimed it glorified violence.

 

In Ohio, another cinema chain, National Amusements, stopped midnight screenings in a neighbourhood of Toledo, where rioting occurred last month after a neo-Nazi group visited the city.

 

Police raised concerns that the film could lead to more unrest.

 

The film, which also stars one-time So Solid Crew star Ashley Walters, was released in the UK on 20 January.

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