The man accused of shooting and killing rising rapper Dolla was acquitted of murder charges yesterday (May 22) in a Los Angeles courtroom.
A jury acquitted Aubrey Berry, 24, of the charges after less than two days of deliberating and nine days of testimony, which saw Berry take the stand in his own defense.
Berry claimed that he was involved in an altercation with Dolla in a club in Atlanta a week prior to the shooting, which took place last May, near a valet section at the Beverly Center.
He testified that he researched the rapper online and read his violent lyrics. He also found clips of Dolla and other gang members bragging about assaulting another man.
Berry, who had a permit to carry his gun in other states, testified he traveled to Los Angeles often and was always armed, although he didn’t realize his permit was not valid in California.
Berry said Dolla threatened to kill him during the chance encounter at the Beverly Center.
Dolla, 21, was an artist signed to Akon’s Konvict Muzik. He was shot three times in the back, as he attempted to flee Berry’s gunfire.
“Obviously, what happened on May 18, 2009, was a horrible tragedy for everyone,” Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor told the lawyers in court. “The jurors have spoken.”
Jurors may have been influenced by Dolla’s own rap lyrics, said Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace.
“You’d hate to think that was the tipping point,” Grace told The Los Angeles Times out front of court.
Dolla’s mother was taken from the courtroom due to her emotional reaction to the verdict.