Proof Shooting Victim May Sue Slain Rapper's Estate

 An exclusive source has revealed that the family of Keith Bender, the second fatality in the shootout that resulted in the death of D12 member Proof, are planning to take legal action against the slain rapper's estate and Shady Records.

As previously reported, Keith Bender and Proof got into a heated dispute at Detroit's C.C.C. nightclub (on April 11) leading to Proof both pistol-whipping and shooting Bender. Proof was then gunned down by Bender's cousin.

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 Medical Center.

"Geoffrey Feiger, the lawyer who represented the man who Eminem assaulted with a gun for kissing his wife, will represent the Bender family," the source said. "It could be as early as Friday or Monday."

At press time, representatives for Interscope Records, Shady Records' distributor, said they had not heard anything about the lawsuit.

Proof (born Deshaun Holton) was buried last week in Detroit, while Bender's funeral took place earlier today.

Mario Etheridge, Bender's cousin, was released on bail yesterday (April 26) after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing. He is charged with carrying a concealed weapon and discharging a firearm in a building, but not with Proof's death.

According to the source, Detroit's rap community is not reacting well to Etheridge's release.

"Everyone is waiting for him to turn up dead, honestly," explained the source. "Trust me; other bodies will be dropping soon."

Randall Upshaw, Etheridge's lawyer, told reports after his client's release that extra security measures were being taken to ensure his safety.

Etheridge is to be arraigned in Wayne County Circuit Court on May 3.

While fans and friends continue to hail Proof as a kind and generous person who helped bring Detroit's rap scene to the forefront, important political figures view him otherwise.

"A prominent reverend from Sharpton's National Action Network chastised Detroit for showing up at Proof's funeral, and Eminem and D12 spending $40K on Proof's casket but the Bender's had to struggle to come up with $4K to bury him," added the source. "He called Proof a felon, criminal, and thug, as is the media. The establishment has taken sides against Proof."

Even where Proof was buried seems to have ruffled some feathers. The 32-year-old rapper's body was entombed near civil rights icon Rosa Parks at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.

"I don't see the appropriateness of someone like this young rapper being buried with Rosa Parks," William McCauley, Parks' nephew told The Detroit News. "She was a person of nonviolence. And obviously this young rapper had a different creed when it comes to resolving issues."

Discuss this topic