Hung jury in rap star's manslaughter trial

February 21, 1996
Web posted at: 9 p.m. EST

Snoop Dogg

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The jury that acquitted rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg and his former bodyguard of murder deadlocked Wednesday on a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, causing Judge Paul G. Flynn to declare a mistrial.

Snoop, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, was found not guilty Wednesday of a single count of being an accessory-after-the-fact. The jury was hung, 9-3. The mistrial only applies to the manslaughter charges.

The jury was also hung on the single charge of voluntary manslaughter against Snoop's bodyguard, McKinley Lee.

Judge Flynn set a status conference for March 18 to determine whether the two men should be retried on the manslaughter charges. Bail for each defendant was reduced from $1 million to $100,000, and both men were freed from electronic monitoring but were warned to show up in court.

Snoop verdict

Tuesday, the seven-man, five-woman jury acquitted both Snoop, 24, and Lee, 25, of murder in the August 25, 1993, shooting death of Philip Woldemariam, an Ethiopian immigrant and supposed gang member.

Prosecutors claimed the pair tracked the victim down and shot him in the back after Woldemariam flashed a gang sign and shouted an obscenity in an earlier confrontation outside Broadus' apartment.

Defense attorneys said that Woldemariam was pulling a gun, and that the shooting was an act of self-defense. Broadus' attorney David Kenner said Tuesday's verdict was "a just and proper result."

Jurors had deliberated more than six days before returning the original verdicts.

Broadus' legal troubles seem to have had little effect on his musical career. His first album, "Doggystyle," was released in 1993 and has grossed nearly $50 million. In 1994 Snoop garnered the male artist of the year honor at the Billboard Music Awards, and last year won an American Music Award and a Grammy nomination.

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