Jurors rolled their eyes and shook their heads Monday when told that police accidentally destroyed evidence in the drive-by murder case against rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg and another man.
During opening statements, Deputy District Attorney Ed Nison said he couldn’t produce the bloody clothes of Philip Woldemariam, who was killed in a carport.
But Nison said there was evidence that the rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, and co-defendant McKinley Lee were involved in the 1993 shooting.
“It was the bullet holes in Philip that caused his death and not the bullet holes in his clothing,” Nison said.
The racially diverse jury of eight men and four women visibly reacted to the news about the destroyed evidence - coming not long after allegations of police incompetence during the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
Nison said previously that officers destroyed the clothing, along with a bullet and empty shell casing, during a mixup. Defense attorneys have said they plan to attack the credibility of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Outlining the prosecution’s case, Nison said Broadus hunted down the 20-year-old Woldemariam and Lee fatally shot him, later concocting a self-defense alibi.
“This shooting was the result of a … street mentality that when someone does something to you, that you have to go and take care of business,” Nison said.
Prosecutors allege that Broadus and Lee went looking for Woldemariam on Aug. 25, 1993, after a dispute at the rapper’s Los Angeles house.
But defense attorneys contend Woldemariam was a gang member who felt his prestige was threatened when Broadus moved into the neighborhood.