The nephew charged with shooting hip-hop artist and reality TV star Benzino during the rapper's mother's funeral procession on a Boston-area highway acted in self-defense, his lawyer said yesterday. Gai Scott, 36, of Randolph, pleaded not guilty in Plymouth District Court to armed assault with intent to murder. He was ordered held without bail pending a hearing tomorrow to determine whether he's a danger to society. "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," said Jon Ciraulo, Scott's lawyer.
Scott told investigators his uncle had earlier sent him death threats via text message, and that when their cars ended up alongside one another, Benzino flashed what Scott thought was a gun and yelled, "I'm going to kill you." Scott admitted to investigators he then shot his uncle, the Boston Herald reports; indeed, he said he bought a gun specifically for protection from Benzino and that he was driving alone that day "in a separate car [from his wife and daughter] because he feared he may be attacked." It's not clear how the family feud started, but the Boston Globe reports that Benzino thought his nephew was "misusing" his mother's property and money. (Read more shooting stories.)