Judge Allows DNA Evidence to be Used Against Rapper Ja Rule in Gun Trial
By Shayna Jacobs
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — Rapper Ja Rule was dealt a legal blow Tuesday when a judged ruled DNA evidence could be used by the prosecution during his gun possession trial.
A lawyer for the 34-year-old performer, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, questioned whether tactics used to test a small amount of DNA recovered from the weapon are scientifically reliable.
Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Richard Carruthers decided that "low copy" DNA evidence is legally acceptable and may be used in Atkins's trial going forward.
Atkins's request for a hearing on the matter was denied in a written ruling.
The charges date back to July 2007, when Atkins was a passenger in a Maybach that was pulled over on West End Avenue. After a search of the vehicle, Atkins and two others were charged with weapon possession.
Atkins was coming from a Lil’ Wayne concert at the Beacon Theater on the night of the arrest. Coincidentally, that same night, Dwayne “Lil’ Wayne” Carter, 27, was also arrested for gun possession. Carter plead guilty and is currently serving a one-year sentence at Riker’s Island.
Atkins's lawyer, Stacey Richman, said she would appeal Tuesday's ruling and raise additional legal concerns before the trial.
"I think there are other issues being missed," Richman said.
Atkins did not appear in court on Tuesday because he was filming a movie in Los Angeles, the lawyer added.
A tentative trial date was set for Aug. 18, but Atkins is scheduled to perform in Brazil and the case may be rescheduled.