Club Where Proof Gunned Down Ordered To Close

 The Detroit nightclub where D12 member Proof was shot to death last month will close for a year and pay fines for operating illegally after-hours, under an agreement with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.

As SOHH previously reported, Proof (born Deshaun Holton) and Keith Bender 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, who was as a bouncer at the nightclub.

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.

The aforementioned shootout took place at the C.C.C. around 4:30 a.m., more than two hours after the club was required to close.

The club's history, which has been marred by violence and unlawful practices, compelled Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, to sue the club's owners last month, calling the place a nuisance and citing other violent outbreaks and liquor violations over the past two years.

The state law for a nuisance violation permits only a one-year closing.

"We got everything we could under the law, and we got it very quickly," Worthy told The Detroit Free Press. "We have learned from the untimely death of Keith Bender and Deshaun Holton that these clubs are not only dangerous to the patrons, but present serious quality-of-life issues for the law-abiding citizens that live near them."

A hearing on Worthy's lawsuit will be held today (May 11) where both parties are expected to announce the agreement and a judge will set the fines for the club's violations.

Under the terms of the agreement, the club owners will pay for a lock change, turn keys over to the prosecutor's office, maintain upkeep and keep insurance and property taxes current. The owners will also be allowed to inspect the club once a month. If the terms aren't met, the prosecutor's office has the right to ask for permanent closure.

Leitha Etheridge-Sims, Bender's aunt, told The Detroit Free Press she was disappointed that the club won't be shut down.

"The family is disappointed that the C.C.C. can only be shut down for a year" she said. "I was hoping the prosecutor would send a message by closing it indefinitely."

The owners of the C.C.C. nightclub declined comment when they were contacted.

Mario Etheridge, Bender's cousin, turned himself in a day after the shooting. He was released on bail after waving his right to a preliminary hearing on April 26.

Etheridge 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 and is facing up to nine years in prison, if convicted for both.

Earlier this month, attorneys representing the Bender family revealed that they were suing Proof's estate for the wrongful death of Keith Bender.

The lawsuit, which was filed by Bender's wife, and his mother, charges that Proof "violently assaulted and battered [Bender], culminating with the infliction of a gunshot injury that caused the death of Mr. Bender." The suit also claims that Proof was known to carry weapons and had "violent propensities."

Detroit authorities and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

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