'Puffy' Is Indicted

11/12/1998 at 12:00 AM EST



A New York grand jury has indicted Sean "Puffy" Combs on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon stemming from a Dec. 27 shoot-out at a Manhattan nightclub. Also indicted was his bodyguard, Anthony Jones. The millionaire hip-hop producer, 30, has hired attorneys Johnnie Cochran (whose clients have included O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson) and Benjamin Brafman (who defended mob kingpin Sammy "The Bull" Gravano on a murder rap) as part of his defense team. The grand jury spent three weeks investigating the shooting, which left three people wounded. After the gunfire, Combs fled the scene in a Lincoln Navigator with his girlfriend, actress Jennifer Lopez, 29. Grand jurors had previously indicted Combs's protégé, Jamal "Shyne" Barrow, 21, on attempted murder and assault charges after witnesses said he shot the three victims at the Times Square club. (Two of those wounded have filed lawsuits against Combs, Barrow and others.) Combs and Lopez had appeared twice before an investigator's panel, which probed an allegation that Combs offered money to say that the gun found in the Navigator belonged to the driver. Charges against Lopez were dropped after she spent 14 hours handcuffed to a bench in the police house, say reports.

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