Journalist Chuck Philips Removed From Courtroom During Jimmy Henchman Trial

The former L.A. Times writer was subpoenaed to testify in drug case.

Posted: 05/16/2012 10:58 AM EDT
Jimmy Henchman

As the second day of the trial against James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond got underway yesterday [May 15], Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chuck Philips was kicked out of the courtroom.

Philips is the former Los Angeles Times journalist responsible for writing an article that claimed Rosemond was behind the 1994 shooting of Tupac Shakur at Quad Recording Studios in Manhattan. Henchman's lawyers have integrated Philips into their defense saying that Rosemond is the target of a smear campaign and used this as the basis to get Philips ousted from the courtroom.

On his way out, the journalist was also handed a subpoena to testify in the case.

"[Gerald] Shargel used me as a red herring for the jury in his opening argument," Philips told AllHipHop.com. "He subpoenaed me as witness not for my testimony, but so he could keep me out of the courtroom and stop me from covering the trial."

Opening statements in the trial of Jimmy Henchman were heard on Monday (May 14) in a Brooklyn Federal Court. The hip hop exec, who managed artists including Game, Brandy, Akon, Sean Kingston and others, was indicted last year on 13 counts related to running a $10 million bi-coastal cocaine ring.  

A multiracial jury of men and women heard arguments from both sides. Prosecutors laid out a case that Rosemond, 47, organized an intricate system that involved shipping large amounts of cocaine in music instrument cases from L.A. to New York via UPS and FedEx. Additionally, prosecutors said Rosemond used his company, Czar Entertainment, to launder money from his drug organization. Police are said to have intercepted massive bundles of cash linked to Rosemond ranging in quantity from $400,000 to $800,000.

Rosemond's lawyer, Gerald Shargel, said that the prosecution had built its case on the testimony of witnesses who had incentive to lie. Shargel pointed out that several witnesses for the prosecution who are either in prison or facing jail time stand to win reduced sentences by cooperating with the state. He said his client never touched a kilo of cocaine and regularly dealt with large quantities of cash in his capacity as manager to the stars.

The trial continues today in Brooklyn as it is expected to go on for a few weeks. 


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