Sigel Acquitted

A Philadelphia jury found rapper Beanie Sigel innocent September 26th in the retrial of a 2003 attempted murder case.

“I’m just thankful for a fair jury.” Sigel, whose real name is Dwight Grant, told reporters outside the courtroom, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I just want to get back to my life. I can chill now. I can get back to my business and my family.”

The jurors deliberated about four hours over two days before delivering the not guilty verdict. The rapper’s first trial, in April 2004, resulted in a hung jury.

Grant was accused of shooting Terrance Speller in the stomach and foot outside the Pony Tail Bar in July 2003 following an argument with two women. He was facing 20 to 40 years in prison if convicted.

Defense attorney Fortunato Perri Jr. was able to discredit key witnesses Speller and David Ames after they admitted to changing their stories more than once, allegedly out of fear of retaliation. Perri Jr. said the witnesses were just trying to get money out of his client.

Speller filed a lawsuit against the rapper earlier this year seeking about $50,000 in damages. That case is pending, the Inquirer said.

The acquittal comes just a few weeks after Grant finished serving a one-year sentence on weapons and drug charges stemming from a 2002 traffic stop in Philadelphia.

However, the Jay-Z protege isn’t a free man just yet. He still faces trial on charges that he fractured a man’s eye socket during a January 2003 argument.