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The murder for hire trial of James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond—former CEO of Czar Entertainment and Game’s former manager—as well as co-defendant Rodney Johnson resulted in a hung jury today (March 7) on each of the four counts of murder for hire and conspiracy for both defendants, according to Henchman’s attorney J. Bruce Maffeo. The four-week long trial kicked off Feb. 10, and the jury began deliberating Tuesday afternoon, March 4. A hung jury results in a mistrial, with the case available to be tried again by the U.S. Government.
The counts against Henchman and Rosemond carried possible sentences of life in prison or the death penalty, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Johnson had previously been convicted on three additional counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, weapons possession related to drug trafficking, and felony firearm possession earlier this week. Henchman is currently serving a life sentence for drug trafficking, which was handed down in October 2013.
The charges related to the shooting death of Lowell “Lodi Mack” Fletcher, a G-Unit affiliate who was gunned down in the Bronx in September 2009. Mack had been released from prison two weeks prior after serving nearly two years on an assault charge (as well as an unrelated narcotics charge) after he was convicted of slapping Henchman’s 14-year-old son on 25th Street in Manhattan. The prosecution painted the killing as part of a years-long “blood feud” between Czar Entertainment and G-Unit.
“Hung jury on all counts as to both defendants,” Maffeo wrote in an email to XXL following the jury’s verdict today, and spoke briefly on the next steps after the mistrial. “Both sides need some time to reevaluate their options although this was the government’s case to lose.”
The U.S. Government had contended that Henchman was the ringleader of a conspiracy to murder Mack as retaliation for slapping his son, sending five men to lure Mack into a dark alley with the intention of killing him. Johnson was accused of being on site as “backup,” while Henchman was the alleged organizer of the operation. The defense focused on poking holes in the credibility of the Government’s four key cooperating witnesses, whom they painted as “career criminals” cooperating for the sake of reducing their own prison sentences.