The Harris County District Attorney’s Office has dismissed aggravated assault charges against J Prince, founder and CEO of Houston’s Rap-a-Lot Records, Rap-a-Lot announced today. The charges stemmed from a January 2007 incident at Prince’s Prince Complex gymnasium, where Studio 7303 owner Ronnie Bookman alleged Prince ordered him beaten up because he would not sign a contract selling part of his interest in 7303, a local recording studio. Before the criminal charges were filed, Bookman had filed a $10 million civil suit against Prince.
A criminal trial had been scheduled for August 4, but, after reviewing Bookman’s deposition in the civil case, prosecutors decided to drop the charges. According to the Rap-a-Lot statement, “In the deposition, Bookman admitted to numerous violations of state and federal law, including money laundering, mortgage fraud, tax evasion and several acts of perjury. In addition, Bookman provided a version of the offense that was in wide dispute with his previous versions, and that of other witnesses.”
"This case was about Ronnie Bookman trying to use the criminal justice system to enrich himself at the expense of James Prince, and his plan was exposed, revealed and rejected," Prince’s attorney, Kent Schaffer, said.
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In other Rap-a-Lot news, Scarface, who recently appeared at the July 4 Geto Boys reunion concert, has completed a new album, Redemption, and the label expects to release it late next month, “though the date is not set in stone,” Rap-a-Lot’s Sarah Lee said. – Chris Gray