Today was the first round of what is the start of a vigorous fight between District Attorney of Fulton County Paul Howard and prominent Criminal Defense Attorney Derek Wright of the murder trial of Vinson Hardimon aka rapper Yung Vito for the killing of Mario Denzel Hamilton aka Slim Dunkin.
The courtroom of Superior Court Judge Karen D. Woodson was packed with family members on both sides, as the formal arraignment of defendant Vinson Hardimon was about to begin.
Around 10:30 AM today, Janet Wallace Hamilton, mother of Slim Dunkin, and about 15 plus family and friends arrived at Part 8C of Fulton County Superior Court to listen to the outcome her son’s alleged killer’s arraignment. Once she had taken her seat in the second row of the courtroom, Sheriff deputies brought out rapper Yung Vito under heavy security wearing a blue jail jumpsuit with a white tee shirt underneath. At no point did he turn around to see who was actually in the courtroom.
Today’s hearing focused on whether or not there was sufficient evidence to bound his case over for trial and to ascertain what exactly the charges would be. Atlanta Police Detective Quinn, who has 27 years on the police force and 12 years as a homicide detective, painted a picture to the court as to why he believed Hardimon was the shooter.
According to Quinn’s testimony, he had received a call from Maj. Keith Meadows that a shooting had occurred and that he initially went to Grady Hospital but later learned that the actual crime scene was at a recording studio located on Memorial Drive in Atlanta. Upon arriving to the crime scene, he stated that there was no one present except a caretaker for the studio. Quinn also stated that he found a hard drive and laptop belonging to Hardimon, which indicated that he was in fact at the studio at some point in time. His testimony was that he was able to locate two witnesses who positively identified Yung Vito as the shooter. When questioned by Assistant District Attorney as to how did he in fact know that Hardimon was the shooter, he stated that one of the witnesses told him that Hamilton had entered the studio and picked up a piece of candy that was on a table and Hardimon said that the candy belonged to him. Hamilton responded, “I didn’t know it was yours but you don’t have to get Gangsta about it.” Moments later Hamilton entered into the recording booth and started rapping a verse “Dreads aint shit, I will put two to your head.”
Moments after Slim Dunkin recorded those words, Yung Vito allegedly ran into the booth and began punching Slim Dunkin continuously. The witness also stated that Slim Dunkin was defending himself and was getting the best of the situation when someone passed off a weapon to Yung Vito. According to eyewitness accounts, Yung Vito initially raised the weapon to Slim Dunkin’s head but then lowered it to his stomach and fired one single shot. Defense Attorney Derek Wright asked Detective Quinn could it have been possible for Yung Vito to fire the fatal shot as a self-defense reaction and not intentionally wanting to kill Slim Dunkin. Detective Quinn pointed out that he had shot several people in his career and that he knows that people could die from a shot to the head, stomach or even a leg wound; basically alluding to the fact that death is possible with any type of gunshot wound.
Another line of questions by the defense involved whether or not there may have been other individuals in the booth possibly helping Hamilton fight Hardimon. Defense attorney Derek Wright pointed out to Det. Quinn that Hamilton stood 6’8 feet in height while Hardimon stood 5’8 -5’10 in height.
It was apparent that Ms. Hamilton was not happy by the way defense attorney Wright was depicting her slain son.
At the end of the hearing, the judge told Hardimon he was being charged with Felony murder, Aggravated Assault, and Criminal Possession of A Firearm. When defense requested his client be freed on a $100,00.00 bond, the judge stated that Hardimon was a danger to the community based on a prior gun conviction back in 2008 as well as a current indicted felony case for aggravated assault involving a firearm against his former girlfriend.
Detective Quinn was asked whether or not a weapon was recovered from the crime scene and he stated that it was not. HHE spoke exclusively with Det. Quinn about how the initial investigation was handled, in particular as to why there were no shell casing found at the seen of the crime. He stated that most likely someone removed it and he also stated that he didn’t even know what type of weapon was used to kill the slain rapper.
Mother Pleads for Son’s Killer to Surrender
Based on the line of questioning from defense attorney Derek Wright, it appears that Yung Vito’s might be a self-defense strategy to win his freedom.
Stay tuned for more developing details pertaining to this already perplexing case.
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