Proof Shooter Waives Hearing, Attorney Says He Was "Given A Gun"

 Mario Etheridge, the man who gunned down D12 member Proof at Detroit's C.C.C. nightclub earlier this month, waived his right to a preliminary hearing today (April 26).

As previously reported, Etheridge, a bouncer at C.C.C., shot and killed Proof after the rapper pistol whipped and shot his cousin, Keith Bender.

Proof was pronounced dead on arrival at St. John Conner Creek Village while Bender died a week later after being in critical condition at St. John Hospital and Medial Center.

Etheridge, who faced a judge for a second time today, waived his right to a preliminary hearing, meaning he admits there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial.

He is charged with carrying a concealed weapon and discharging a firearm in a building, but not with Proof's death. The 28-year-old Detroit resident pled not guilty to the charges last week and is facing up to nine years in prison, if convicted for both.

Randall Upshaw, Etheridge's lawyer, told reporters outside the courthouse that his client opened fire in defense of his cousin. He also said that his client did not carry a weapon and was either given a gun or took a gun from someone during the mêlée when Bender was shot.

Upshaw also added that Proof was initially arguing with a different person before turning his anger on Bender.

David Gorosh, Proof's attorney, who was also outside the courthouse at the time, responded to Upshaw's claims by saying that "the investigation is far from over" and he is awaiting more evidence to clear the rapper's name.

Etheridge is now free on bail and did not speak to reporters when he left the courthouse and got into a waiting car. He is to be arraigned in Wayne County Circuit Court on May 3.

According to Upshaw, extra security measures have been taken to ensure Etheridge's safety.

Proof (born Deshaun Holton) was buried last week in Detroit while Bender's viewing is being held today . His funeral takes place tomorrow (April 27) at Detroit's New Galilee Baptist Church.

Discuss this topic