Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos asked State Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon to hold Combs in contempt of court for violating a gag order Solomon issued barring both sides from talking to the press. Bogdanos asked that Combs be sentenced to 30 days in jail.
However, the gag order does allow Combs to assert his innocence, and defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman argued that Combs' statement fell within that guideline.
The Manhattan judge said he would look at Bogdanos' request, but in the meantime, he barred all statements and interviews from both sides, promising that any violation of that directive would be "swiftly and severely" punished.
The statement that Combs issued Tuesday night through his public relations spokesman read, in part: "Since I intend to testify on my own behalf I feel it is no longer necessary for Jennifer to be involved in these proceedings."
Lopez accompanied Combs to Club New York, a Times Square night club, early on Dec. 27, 1999, when gunfire sent the couple fleeing in their chauffeur-driven Lincoln Navigator.
Prosecutors allege Combs was illegally carrying a gun at the time the shots were fired, and that he later tried to bribe his chauffeur into accepting responsibility for a handgun found by police along the path taken by the Navigator as it fled the area.
Bogdanos also claimed that the only reason Combs doesn't want Lopez to testify is because it would harm his case. Bogdanos revealed that in her grand jury testimony, when Lopez was asked whether Combs had a gun before, during or after their visit to Club New York, she repeatedly replied, "I can't say one way or the other."
"It would be literally impossible for Ms. Lopez to exonerate Mr. Combs," Bogdanos said.
But Brafman disputed that, saying that contrary to Bogdanos' interpretation of Lopez's grand jury remarks, "she categorically exonerated Mr. Combs on a number of issues."
Brafman said that on the night of the shooting, Lopez testified that she "danced with (Combs), hugged him, embraced him, had her hands on his waist. She knows he did not have a gun the night of the incident."
Brafman also noted that the prosecution had declined to call Lopez, which he attributed to her inability to provide testimony that would be helpful to their case against Combs.
He said the only reason she said she "couldn't say" whether he had a gun was because her back was to Combs at the moment of the shooting and as they fled the club in the car.
The morning arguments were made outside the hearing of the jury.
Combs, 31, and his bodyguard, Anthony "Wolf" Jones, 34, are charged with two counts of gun possession. A third suspect, Jamal "Shyne" Barrow, 21, icharged with three counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting three club patrons during the fracas.
Lopez, 30, who wasn't charged in the incident, has traveled outside the U.S. recently promoting her new movie, The Wedding Planner, and album J.Lo, and hasn't appeared at the trial. Combs' confirmed on Feb. 14 Valentine's Day that the two had officially ended their relationship.
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