"Turk" on Trial 

Arguments in The federal trial of New Orleans rapper Tab "Turk" Virgil ended early this week. After getting a tip from an informant in January 2004, a SWAT team raided the Hickory Hill apartment where Virgil was staying. During the raid, Shelby County sheriff's deputy Chris Harris was shot in the jaw and Virgil was subsequently charged with federal weapons violations.

During the trial, prosecutors made the case that Virgil hid in the apartment's bedroom closet and fired on officers with a 9-mm handgun. The defense, which rested without calling a single witness, maintained that no one saw Virgil fire or even handle the gun.

At press time, we don't know what questions jury members are asking themselves, but as we watched the proceedings, a couple of things made us stop and ponder:

• If someone is hiding in a closet and firing a gun, how exactly are they aiming?

• A forensic scientist with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation found gunshot powder residue on the only thing Virgil was wearing at the time - two pairs of boxer shorts, one on top the other. Why would someone be wearing two pairs of boxer shorts at the same time?

• Virgil told one investigator that he didn't travel with any bags or belongings. "I thought it was kind of weird," the officer testified in court. Is that why he was only wearing boxer shorts? He didn't have any other clothes?

• Virgil's girlfriend Erica McClain gave this statement to investigators: "There was only two people in the room. Me and Virgil, and I was under the bed. Me being under the bed put me in a position not to be able to shoot." If it was good enough for police ...

• In a statement to investigators, Virgil compared himself to Rodney King, a black man beaten by police during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

• What will this mean for album sales? •

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