Proof Killer Not Charged With Murder, Prosecutor Says It Was "Self-Defense"
As previously reported, Mario Etheridge, a bouncer at C.C.C., shot and killed Proof (born Deshaun Holton) after the rapper pistol whipped and shot his cousin, Keith Bender, after an argument.
At press conference held yesterday (May 30), Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy revealed the ruling saying "evidence clearly shows that Mario Etheridge acted in lawful self-defense of another when he shot Deshaun Holton."
"Once the gunshots started, everything happened fairly quickly," added Worthy.
Worthy then divulged that Etheridge shot twice at the ceiling to stop Proof, before aiming the gun at him.
According to Randall Upshaw, Etheridge's lawyer, while Proof was pistol whipping Bender, Etheridge took a gun from someone during the attack and fired in defense of his cousin.
However, Worthy made it known that witnesses at the scene said Etheridge had two guns on him.
A day after the shootout, Etheridge turned himself in and was initially charged with charged with carrying a concealed weapon and discharging a firearm in a building, but not with Proof's death.
Worthy said the weapons charges against Etheridge still stands. He is facing up to nine years in prison if convicted for both. Worthy also added that the investigation surrounding the shootout is over.
Etheridge, who is currently out on bail, pled not guilty to both charges and is due back in court on Friday (June 2) for his final pretrial court date.
Keith Bender's mother and wife sued Proof's estate for wrongful death earlier this month. The Benders' lawsuit charged 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"
In related news, the C.C.C. nightclub was shut down for a year and will pay fines for operating illegally after-hours. The dispute between Proof and Bender occurred after 4:30 am. Detroit's liquor law doesn't allow sale of alcoholic beverages after 2 a.m.