Rapper Dolla Murder Trial Opens: Killing of Akon Protege was Calculated, Says Prosecutor

Rapper Dolla (Personal Photo)

LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) The killing of rapper Dolla at a crowded, upscale mall was described Tuesday by a prosecutor in an opening statement as a heartless, calculated act by a man who then retrieved his car from a valet and drove around the body.

Deputy District Attorney Robert Grace told jurors that Aubrey Louis Berry fired eight shots at rapper Roderick Anthony Burton II, known as Dolla, and his friends in the valet area of Beverly Center.

Defense attorney Howard Price later countered that the shooting by defendant Aubrey Louis Berry was an act of self-defense after he was threatened by the rapper.

Burton, 21, was considered a protege of Akon and had released two songs with the hip-hop star. He was touring and working on his first studio album at the time of his death.

Authorities said bad blood developed between Burton and Berry nearly two weeks earlier, when they scuffled in a strip club in Atlanta, where both lived.

It was chance that brought them both to Beverly Center in Los Angeles on May 18, 2009. Both had been eating with friends before the shooting occurred in the valet area of the mall.

Deputy District Attorney Robert Grace told jurors Berry fired eight shots at Burton and his friends. Burton was hit by four bullets - three in the back - as he tried to run from Berry, Grace said in his opening statement.

After the shooting, Berry got his car and drove around Burton as he was dying, the prosecutor said.

The trial is expected to last a week.