Proof’s Suspected Killer Hit with Gun Charges
Mario Etheridge, the 28-year-old bouncer who police believe shot and killed Detroit MC Proof, was charged with two gun possession felonies on Friday (April 14). Police have confirmed that early last Tuesday, Proof pistol-whipped and then fired first at an unarmed 35-year-old man named Keith Bender, shooting him in the head and leaving him in critical condition. Etheridge, who is Bender’s cousin, is suspected of then shooting Proof three times. He has now been charged with carrying a concealed weapon and discharging a firearm inside an occupied building, which carry maximum prison sentences of five and four years, respectively. Etheridge’s lawyer believes that the charges are merely a way to “keep a tail” on his client, telling the Detroit Free Press, “If he discharged the weapon wrongfully and killed someone, charge him with a homicide or an assault. If he didn’t discharge it wrongfully, don’t charge him.” A spokesperson for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office has said that the investigation into Proof’s homicide is still not closed.