Supreme's Victims Mothers Oppose Death, Attorney Says Conviction An 'Injustice'
McGriff's attorney David Ruhnke sent the "urgent request for reconsideration" to Washington, D.C. on Feb. 1, the day McGriff was convicted of paying $50,000 to gun down rivals Troy Singleton and Eric "E Money Bags" Smith.
Troy Singleton's mother Bessie stated she didn't want anyone's "death on her hands," while Smith's mother told reporters that there has "already been enough death."
McGriff allegedly ordered the hit on Singleton, who was shot four times in the body and head outside a sports bar in Queens, NY in 2001.
Eric "E Money Bags" Smith, a drug dealer and part-time rapper, was shot 10 times and killed in 2001 while sitting in his SUV on a Queens street.
The government also accused McGriff of several other shootings, including that of superstar Queens rapper, 50 Cent, who fictionalized McGriff as the character "Majestic" in his 2005 movie, Get Rich Or Die Tryin'.
Federal authorities also maintained that McGriff was actively dealing drugs and had also ordered several other hits, including a drug-related double homicide outside of an apartment complex in Owings Mills, MD.
McGriff was the head of the notorious "Supreme Team," a Queens based drug-dealing crew. He was convicted of drug dealing in the 1980's and served a 12-year sentence in prison.
McGriff and his attorneys maintain that he went legit after being released.
His former attorney Robert Simels did not agree with the verdict and accused the government of going to any length to convict McGriff.
"I am saddened that another injustice has occurred with the conviction of Mr. McGriff," Simels said. "That the prosecution had a clear intent to convict Mr. McGriff at all costs, has been obvious for the past 5 years."
Simels, who represented McGriff until 2005, has also done defense work for Irv Gotti's Murder Inc. label.
McGriff became the center piece of a federal investigation into Murder Inc. for corruption and drug dealing in 2002, during an infamous feud between Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo, rapper Ja Rule and 50 Cent, who all hail from Queens.
His association with Gotti's Murder Inc. record label led to the company being indicted on federal money laundering charges.
Authorities accused McGriff of secretly owning Murder Inc. and using the company to launder millions in drug proceeds.
After a high profile trial in 2005, both Gotti and his brother Christopher Lorenzo were acquitted of all charges.
McGriff, however was indicted for multiple murders, including the brazen shootings of Singleton and Smith.
"In the current case, they made deals with anyone and everyone if only they were willing to say Mr. McGriff was involved with them in criminal acts," Simels said of the prosecution. "The worst of those witnesses, had committed multiple murders but will get reduced sentences for having "cooperated" with the prosecution."
Simels said that he believed McGriff was not guilty of the charges.
If McGriff could have afforded better counsel, perhaps he may not have been convicted of the charges, Simels said.
In a conversation in Apr. 2005 recorded from the Brooklyn prison that housed McGriff, McGriff stated that he was going to attempt to reach out to top name rap celebrities to help fund his defense.
"Had he had sufficient funds to hire counsel of his choice and fight the charges he would have not been convicted," Simels said. "I remain hopeful the jury will not agree to recommend the death penalty."
At press time, Ruhnke's request is being reviewed by federal officials in Washington, D.C.