Rapper Benzino's nephew Gai Scott, who was accused of shooting him when he was on the way to his mother's funeral on Saturday, appeared in Plymouth District Court on Monday, March 31. According to The Associated Press, the 36-year-old Scott pleaded not guilty to armed assault with intent to murder during the court session.
Scott's lawyer Jon Ciraulo said that his client was acting in self-defense. "When the dust settles with respect to this case, it's going to be abundantly clear that Mr. Scott, a licensed gun owner, was acting in self-defense and in defense of his family," he was quoted as saying. Scott was held without bail. Another court appearance has been scheduled for Wednesday.
Authorities previously said that the shooting was the result of "growing family tension" between Scott and the star of "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta", whose real name is Raymond Scott. In an interview with NEHip-Hop, the reality star said from his hospital bed, "I'm good, I got shot in my arm. I got shot twice - one of the bullets grazed my back and one here. I got to do some physical therapy for a while on my hand, but I'm alright."
"I'm more embarrassed than anything else to be honest with you," he added of the family feud. "Because me being a public figure and having people see that me and my family are going through that. I didn't appreciate that."
In a separate interview with The Boston Globe, Benzino gave more details of the shooting, saying that he actually decided to skip his mother's funeral because of the tension. Benzino was driving to Plymouth when he happened upon the procession.
"I looked over, there was a car, and all I saw was a gun shooting at me," he said in the phone interview. "I was trying to duck and dodge, drive around it, maneuver the car. ... I was bleeding a lot. I was driving with my thumb in my shoulder to try to stop the bleeding." He stopped driving and ran on foot. A relative then picked him up and drove him to police station.