James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond is already serving a life sentence for drug trafficking, but he is looking at more time. The former music exec also stands accused of murdering a G-Unit associate and the trial has begun.
The trial began Monday (February 10), and if the opening statement from the prosecution is any indication, it's going to be worth of Law & Order or The Wire.
Reports the New York Daily News:
Jurors heard the inside dope on the beef between hip hop mogul James (Jimmy Henchman) Rosemond and rapper 50 Cent's crew G-Unit as Rosemond's murder-for-hire trial got underway Monday.
"In the public eye and on the surface, Rosemond was known as an executive in the music industry," Assistant U.S. Attorney Samson Enzer said during opening statements in Manhattan Federal Court. "But beneath the surface, Rosemond was known as a ruthless criminal who ran his rap business like a street gang."
Rosemond — who is serving a life sentence for heading a massive drug enterprise — is accused of hiring thugs to gun down G-Unit associate Lowell Fletcher in 2009. Enzer said the killing was payback for when another G-Unit rapper slapped Rosemond's 14-year-old son.
Lowell Fletcher also went by the name Lodi Mack and was good friends with Tony Yayo.
The trouble between Rosemond and G-Unit dates back to the infamous falling out of 50 Cent and Compton rapper the Game, who Rosemond used to manage. But the manhandling of Rosemond's son is what really set the violence off.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Samson Enzer is making sure to paint Rosemond as a ruthless and vindictive criminal in Manhattan Federal Court.
Determined to strike out at G-Unit, Rosemond and his associates carried out at least three acts of violence before the 2009 murder, Enzer said. But shootings outside a Manhattan office building, rap radio station Hot 97 and an awards show failed to slake Rosemond's thirst for blood, the prosecutor said.
Then rapper Tony Yayo and other G-Unit members were said to have roughed up Rosemond's teenage son on W. 25th St. in Manhattan. It was the last straw, Enzer said.
"Rosemond decided that for slapping his son, a member of G-Unit had to die," the prosecutor alleged. "His goal was to make sure that members of G-Unit had to carry a coffin."
Enzer said Rosemond chose Fletcher because he saw the 33-year-old as the weak link in the G-Unit chain.
He had Brian (Slim) McLeod, who had just done time with Fletcher in jail, lure the victim to a deserted Bronx street corner with promises of money and drinks, the prosecutor said.
Derrick Grant and Rodney Johnson were waiting in the shadows and Grant pulled the trigger, Enzer said.
"In the darkness of that Sunday night, Lowell Fletcher looked around for Slim," the prosecutor said. "But a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt came out of the shadows, pointed a gun with a silencer and shot … round after round."
The prosecution claims that Rosemond paid the hitmen with $30,000 worth of cocaine.
Rosemond's lawyer, J. Bruce Maffeo, is telling the juror to dismiss the testimony of the prosecution's witnesses because they have copped pleas and are hoping to serve less time.
This is only going to get uglier.
Photo: Blow Hip Hop TV/YouTube