LATEST: Prosecutors investigating the death of rapper PROOF have determined that suspect, MARIO ETHERIDGE, killed the rapper in an act of self-defence.
Proof, real name DESHAUN HOLTON, was a member of D-12 and rapper Eminem's close friend. He was killed in a Detroit, Michigan nightclub on 11 April (06).
While prosecutors found that Etheridge was acting in self-defence, he will still have to face weapons charges related to the incident, which also left his 35-year-old cousin, KEITH BENDER, dead.
Wayne County, Michigan, prosecutor KYM WORTHY, said at a press conference yesterday (30MAY06) Etheridge fired a gun while trying to defend Bender during the fight at an after-hours club on Detroit's famous Eight Mile Road.
Worthy said, "The evidence clearly shows that Mario Etheridge acted in lawful self-defence of another man when he shot Deshaun Holton. Once the gunshots started, everything happened fairly quickly."
Worthy claims Etheridge shot twice at the ceiling to stop Proof, before aiming the gun at him.
Etheridge's lawyer, RANDALL UPSHAW, has maintained the 32-year-old rapper became belligerent during a game of pool.
Proof argued with Bender at the club and later returned with a gun, pistol-whipped Bender and then shot him in the face.
Etheridge, who was working security at the club, took a gun from someone else during the attack and fired it in his cousin's defence.
Witnesses claim Etheridge was carrying two guns at the time. He was previously charged with carrying a concealed weapon and unlawfully discharging a firearm in a building.
Etheridge's final pre-trial court date is scheduled for Friday (02JUN06).