Young Vito, the Atlanta rapper accused of murdering fellow rhymer, Slim Dunkin has been acquitted of murder charges, but will still spend the next 25 years behind bars. A Georgia jury found him not guilty on murder and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony charges, yet he was still handed down a maximum sentence for assault.
Vito, born Vinson Hardimon, was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon while in possession of a handgun, and given more than two decades behind bars. He was arrested for gunning down Dunkin in December of 2011.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports:
The man accused of shooting and killing an Atlanta-based rapper will spend the next 25 years in jail.
While a Fulton County jury acquitted Vinson Hardimon of murder and felony murder – causing someone's death by committing a felony – he was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a handgun during the commission of a felony for the December 2011 altercation that ended with the death of Mario Hamilton, also known as rapper Slim Dunkin.
When handing down the maximum sentence, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall pointed to a gun incident involving Hardimon, 29, eight months before Hamilton's death.
“I just think he's prone to carry a gun, and he's violent and dangerous,” Schwall said.
Dunkin's father, Mark Hamilton, was unhappy with the acquittal. Having just lost his own mother over the weekend, Hamilton called the sentence a step to him gaining some form of closure. “I'm disappointed with that verdict,” Hamilton said. “I don't know what [the jury] saw. In the end, he got 25 years and we can have some closure.”
Because juries tend to find guilt on felony murder and the accompanying felony charges that led to said crime, Hardimon's lawyer doesn't understand the verdict. “There is an inconsistent verdict for Count 3 and the underlying felony of Count 2,” said attorney Max Hirsch. “The underlying felony for Count 2 is of aggravated assault. They found him not guilty of Count 2.”
Witnesses say that Hardimon and Dunkin--born Mario Hamilton--got into a physical altercation that turned fatal. After the two were separated, Hardimon broke away and shot Dunkin. He turned himself in to police 10 days later.