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Judge Dismisses Charges Against San Diego Rapper Tiny Doo

Photo caption:

Photo credit: 10News

Brandon Duncan, also known as Tiny Doo, is pictured in this undated photo.

Brandon Duncan, also known as Tiny Doo, was accused under a conspiracy law that allows for the prosecution of gang members if they benefit from or promote crimes committed by fellow gangsters.

Judge Dismisses Charges Against San Diego Rapper Tiny Doo

GUESTS:

Ed Kinsey, attorney

Aaron Harvey, co-defendant

Brandon Duncan also known as Tiny Too, rap artist/co-defendant

Transcript

A judge Monday dismissed all charges against a San Diego rapper and another man who were accused under a conspiracy law that allows for the prosecution of gang members if they benefit from or promote crimes committed by fellow gangsters.

After a daylong hearing, Judge Louis Hanoian threw out all charges against rapper Brandon Duncan and co-defendant Aaron Harvey.

The charges stemmed from nine shootings in San Diego between May 2013 and February 2014.

Hanoian ruled that several other co-defendants must stand trial in the case.

Prosecutors alleged Duncan rapped about gang violence, which benefited a gang.

Duncan, also known as Tiny Doo, said the case will not prevent him from writing his music.

"If you want to hear my music, you want to listen to it ... it's not promoting anything," Duncan said outside court."I'm not telling nobody to commit no crime, I'm not telling nobody to do anything. It's just artistry."

Superior Court Judge David Gill recently dismissed charges against some of the defendants, saying prosecutors didn't present enough evidence to prove that those defendants willfully benefited from the violent crimes alleged. Other defendants, who were split into a different group — were bound over for trial.

Hanoian on Monday granted a defense motion to dismiss charges against Duncan and Harvey, ruling that the defendants could not face a conspiracy charge without a specific crime attached to it.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said in December that case was not about punishing someone for rapping, but rather "protecting our neighborhoods by taking violent gang members off the streets and holding them accountable for the crimes they commit using a law that the voters passed and the court recognized as constitutional."

Bonnie Dumanis' office released the following statement after the ruling:

"The District Attorney's Office respects the decision of the court today. This ruling and future court opinions will help determine if California Penal Code 182.5 is a viable legal tool in our fight against violent crime committed by San Diego street gangs across the County.

"In recent weeks, the District Attorney has reached out to community members, state and local legislators, and faith-based leaders, meeting with them to discuss their understandable concerns about the use of this law. While a debate over the law can be constructive and educational, combatting the scourge of deadly gang violence remains our focus. Instead of waiting for more shootings and murders to victimize the community we used this law to cripple the organization.

"During the pendency of this case and today in court, all judges reviewing the case have found on the record that each and every defendant charged is in fact, an active gang member. Of the 33 individuals charged as part of two criminal cases, 12 have pleaded guilty to various charges, including attempted murder, robbery, possession of firearms and conspiracies to do shootings and assaults under PC182.5. After the hearing today the conspiracy charge (PC 182.5) was dropped against defendants Harvey and Duncan. The five other defendants whose cases were being heard on this motion continue to be held on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, and shooting at an inhabited dwelling. Three of these defendants remain charged with conspiracy under Penal Code section 182.5.

"It's unfortunate that in spite of the evidence transparently available in the court record and court's rulings that clearly establish their active gang membership during the time of the shootings, the media and community has allowed itself to be manipulated by individuals who are misrepresenting their true level of gang involvement. "

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