The man accused of murdering Atlanta-based rapper Dolla last year in a Los Angeles-area mall has been acquitted.
Music promoter Aubrey Louis Berry was found not guilty of first degree murder and all other charges stemming from the shocking incident Friday.
The 24-year-old Atlanta resident has been in jail since the May 18, 2009, shooting in which the rising hip-hopster Roderick Anthony Burton II, aka Dolla, was gunned down in the valet area of the Beverly Center.
The rapper allegedly got into an altercation with Berry and woman and was shot four times—three times in the back and once in his bicep. He later died after being transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center just blocks away.
The LAPD promptly arrested Berry about an hour later, after he fled the scene and made his way to LAX. He was charged with murder and two counts of assault.
Berry pleaded not guilty to all charges, however, and testified last week that he acted in self defense, saying 21-year-old Dolla threatened to kill him and that he believed he had a gun.
Although Berry and Burton reportedly were involved in a fight at an Atlanta strip club just a couple of weeks before the L.A. shooting, Berry's attorney, Howard Price, emphasized the self-defense angle, saying Burton's music and online videos were examples of his supposed gang ties.
Prosecutors tried to make the case that police never found a weapon on Burton, and that the musician was shot in the back as he tried to flee. But it was to no avail.
Burton had been visiting Los Angeles last year to wrap up his debut album, Another Day, Another Dolla.