NewsLocal NewsGrand Rapids


Michigan court reverses murder conviction, cites rap videos

Posted at 2:37 AM, Jan 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-25 15:11:27-05

BY ED WHITE, DETROIT — The Michigan Supreme Court has thrown out a murder conviction, saying YouTube rap videos spoiled the verdict by portraying the defendant as a “ruthless and menacing threat."

Jamal Bennett is serving a 32-year prison sentence for the fatal shooting of another man during a fight at a Grand Rapids party.

A Kent County jury saw two videos at trial with Bennett and others rapping about drinking, smoking, guns, shootings and sex.

Prosecutors said the videos were intended to show that Bennett knew people at the party.

Bennett said he was trying to defend others when the shooting occurred.