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Did violent rap lyrics hurt L.A. prosecutors in the Dolla murder case? What do you think?

May 22, 2010 |  8:53 am



"Obviously, what happened on May 18, 2009, was a horrible tragedy for everyone. The jurors have spoken."

So said Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor after a jury on Friday acquitted a man who shot and killed an up-and-coming rapper known as Dolla at the Beverly Center last year.

Defendant Aubrey Berry, 24, testified that he opened fire in self-defense in the parking garage of the upscale mall. He said Burton, 21, threatened to kill him near the valet desk and reached toward his back as though he were drawing a gun. Police found no weapon on Burton, who was shot once in the left biceps and three times in the back.

His attorney introduced lyrics by Dolla, hoping to show the rapper (whose real name was Roderick Anthony Burton II) was dangerous. "His music is horrendous, offensive," Berry's attorney, Howard R. Price said. "I don't think he engendered any sympathy."

What you think about the outcome of the case? Share your views below. Check out the video in which The Times' Jack Leonard and Matt Lait looked at the introduction of rap lyrics in the murder trial.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Attorney Howard R. Price, who called prosecutors' pursuit of the case as a murder "absurd," with his client, Aubrey Berry, in the courtroom. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times