A decade and a half after he was fatally shot, Tupac Shakur’s story continues to take new twists and turns.
This week, after New York‘s Village Voice reported that James Rosemond — convicted on June 5 of running a multi-state crack cocaine ring — admitted his connection to the 1994 shooting and robbery of the rapper, his lawyer denied any connection between Rosemond and the crime.
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Rosemond, better known by his street moniker “Jimmy Henchman,” is CEO of rap management company Czar Entertainment. He was convicted of running an operation that moved large amounts of drugs and money between Los Angeles and New York and now faces life behind bars. According to the Village Voice, a series of court transcripts record several proffer sessions with the federal government last fall, in which Rosemond implicated himself in the shooting. Rosemond’s defense lawyer, however, says the Voice‘s allegations — which have been picked up by several other news websites — are without merit.
“Categorically, Rosemond didn’t confess to it,” Gerald Shargel told TIME regarding the proffer sessions. “He affirmatively denied participation in it.”
In proffers, people under investigation agree to share knowledge they have of certain crimes. In exchange, the government does not use the information to prosecute them. Rosemond’s words were not admitted as evidence and he was not convicted based on anything he said in the sessions. Shargel maintains that there was no admission of any link to the Nov. 1994 shooting at Quad City, a Times Square recording studio. (Shakur survived despite being shot five times in the attack; he was shot and killed in a later incident in 1996.)
Rosemond’s friend, Dexter Issac, said in a statement to allhiphop.com in June 2011 that Rosemond paid him $2,500 to rob and shoot Shakur, which he did on Nov. 30, 1994, after a recording session in New York’s Quad City studios. The New York Police Department regards the incident as a robbery and the statute of limitations on the crime expired in 2001. Isaac is in prison, convicted in 1999 serving a life sentence for multiple crimes including murder.
Shakur himself accused Rosemond of the attack in his song “Against All Odds,” on his album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, released posthumously.
…Jimmy Henchman, in due time
I know you [EXPLETIVE] is listenin, The World Is Mine
Set me up, wet me up, [EXPLETIVE] stuck me up
Heard the guns bust but you tricks never shut me up.
Following the incident, Shakur blamed his rivals in the rap industry, igniting a now-infamous feud between Death Row Records, under which Shakur recorded at the time, and Bad Boy Records, run by Sean “Diddy” Combs, whose artist Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace had become an adversary of Shakur’s.
The end result was two murders: Shakur was shot after leaving a boxing match in Las Vegas on Sept. 7, 1996 and died a week later. Wallace was shot and killed six months later on March 9, 1997 after leaving the Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles. Neither of those murders were ever solved.
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