Wednesday, July 6th, 2005

Biggie Case Declared A Mistrial

Straight from the wires:

+ LA Times

+ AP Wire

This from the wires:

There were only three days of testimony in the trial, which began June 21 but was interrupted when an anonymous tip led to the discovery of large numbers of LAPD documents that hadn’t been turned over to attorneys for the rap star’s family…

Family attorney Perry Sanders Jr. said the family – including Wallace’s mother Voletta and widow R&B singer Faith Evans – didn’t want to have to go through another trial but would do so. He said the case would now delve into a corruption scandal in the LAPD’s Rampart division dating to the 1990s.

“We’re about to get to the bottom of Rampart,” Sanders said. “We’re about to peel the onion back to its rotten core.”

Perez was a central figure in the scandal, which involved alleged misconduct or brutality by corrupt officers in an anti-gang unit at Rampart. More than 100 criminal convictions possibly tainted by police misconduct were reversed. Perez alleged wrongdoing by others after he was found to have stolen cocaine from an evidence room.

Perez was the focus of most of the recently discovered documents, which had been sitting in an LAPD detective’s desk drawer until last month. The detective said he forgot about them, a claim the judge called “absolutely incredible” during Tuesday’s hearing.

The plaintiffs filed a motion Tuesday seeking a mistrial based on what they claimed was deliberate concealment of evidence and on the need for time to further investigate Perez.

The court did not immediately make the mistrial ruling public. A written ruling will be issued Thursday, the judge’s clerk said in confirming the mistrial.

For more background on the hidden documents, check this:

+ New York Daily News

As my man Cheo says, it’s about to get really deep.

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