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Alleged Dolla shooter pleads not guilty

May 22, 2009 | 12:26 pm

An Atlanta event promoter charged with fatally shooting rapper Dolla at the Beverly Center pleaded not guilty today to murder and two counts of assault.

Aubrey Louis Berry, 23, is accused of gunning down Roderick Anthony Burton II, known professionally as Dolla, and shooting at two other people in the Atlanta rapper’s entourage Monday in the valet area of the popular Westside mall.

Prosecutors today also amended the charges to include an extra firearms offense of personally and intentionally discharging a firearm, which caused great bodily injury and death.

Authorities allege that Berry, who had an altercation with Burton at an Atlanta strip club this month, fired at Burton, 21, and two people who were with him. Berry, who fled the scene hours after the shooting, was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport with the purported murder weapon tucked in this waistband.

Berry’s attorney, Howard R. Price, said his client did shoot the rapper but in self-defense.

"At worst it's a manslaughter case, at best it's a case of self-defense," he told The Times this week.

Price said Berry and Burton clashed at the Platinum 21 Adult Entertainment club in Atlanta. The pair then ran into each other Monday in the restroom of P.F. Chang's China Bistro in the Beverly Center in what Price described as a chance encounter.

Price said the rapper threatened Berry, who decided to leave the restaurant. When Berry went to the mall's valet area for his car, Burton and two other people followed him, the attorney said. Berry thought Burton was reaching for his waistband and fired his weapon.

"He perceived that his life was in danger," Price said.

-- Richard Winton