Aubrey Berry (L.A. Times)
From the AJC.com:
A Los Angeles jury acquitted a Snellville man Friday of killing rapper Dolla last year at a Beverly Hills mall.
The prosecution argued that Aubrey Louis Berry had killed Dolla, real name Roderick Anthony Burton II, out of revenge. They had been involved in a fight at a Atlanta strip club two weeks before last May’s shooting.
Defense Attorney Howard Price said Berry opened fire at the Beverly Center because Burton, 21, threatened to kill him. The 24-year-old, who testified he “never killed anything,” said he was afraid of Dolla’s alleged gang ties.
The defense highlighted Dolla’s music as evidence of a violent streak: “You be running when I shoot, I be shooting where you running” was among the lyrics presented in court.
Burton’s mother, Dayne Robinson, sobbed after hearing the jury’s verdict.
“Oh please, somebody help me,” Robinson said, as she and other family members filed out of the courtroom.
Berry was found not guilty of first degree murder and assault with a firearm, among other charges.
Dolla was shot in the head while waiting in the valet area of the Beverly Center in California. The two met by chance at the upscale shopping center on May 18th when Berry allegedly spotted Dolla and shot him four times — three of those bullets struck the rapper in the back as he attempted to flee.
Price said Dolla had just told his client, “Today, you’re going to die.”
Dolla, born in Chicago in 1988, moved to Atlanta when he was five after his father shot himself in front of him and his sister. His stepfather, George Viera, told the AJC Dolla was merely a character — not a real-life thug.
“To us he was just Roddy,” Viera said. “When he was home, you couldn’t pry him away. Loved to play with his nieces and nephews, loved to play on the Wii.”