Proof's Killer On Trial For Weapons Charges, Details Of Altercation Revealed
Etherdige, 28, is charged with illegally firing a weapon in an occupied building and with carrying a concealed weapon. He was not charged with Proof's murder.
In August, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy declined to pursue murder charges against Etheridge saying that he had acted in self-defense when he shot Proof, who had shot his cousin, Keith Bender.
Proof (born Deshaun Holton) and Bender got into a heated dispute at Detroit's C.C.C. nightclub on April 11. Proof pistol-whipped and shot Bender, and was then gunned down by Etheridge.
According to the Detroit News, Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Walker began her opening argument on Monday by stating that Proof didn't reach for his gun while exchanging fists with Bender until Etheridge fired warning shots.
"That was the first display, the first use, the first time anyone knew about a weapon," she said.
Etheridge's lawyer, Randall Upshaw, responded by saying his client wasn't aggressive until Proof had shot his cousin.
Three out of the four witnesses who took the stand testified that Proof had gotten into an argument with another man before his altercation with Bender, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Andre Boyd testified that Proof's argument with the unidentified man was loud .He would described how Proof later fought with Bender and how a large man, that he failed to identify as Etheridge, fired three shots at the ceiling.
Tony Watkins, Proof's roommate/ personal assistant, testified that he didn't know how Proof got the gun, and that the only gun he was aware of was in the car belonged to a man called Mud, who was part of their entourage at the club.
He described how Bender and Proof argued and were pulled apart but things escalated when Bender "took an open swing at him."
Bender's fingertip grazed Proof's forehead. "That's when Proof got into a rage trying to get at the guy," he said.
According to The Detroit Free Press the trail is expected to wrap up today (September 19th). If convicted of carrying a concealed weapon, Etheridge could be sentenced to a maximum 5-year prison term, and up to fours years in prison for discharging a firearm inside an occupied building.