nore.jpgQueens rapper N.O.R.E. testified in Manhattan District Court yesterday (Jan. 10) on behalf of friend Darryl Henderson, who is accused of murdering three people in order to steal 30 kilograms of cocaine, worth over $500,000. Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Rody alleged that Henderson and two other members of a Bronx gang called Murder Unit brutally stabbed and slashed the three victims to death in the Bronx in January 2002. Rody claimed that, after the murders, the accused fled to Miami, where they partied with the proceeds from their crime.

According to the Associated Press, the rapper testified that he met Henderson in 1998 or 1999 and offered him a job on tour as a roadie, along with other members of Murder Unit, but did not know that some of the men had criminal backgrounds. Although N.O.R.E. was unable to remember details about violent incidents that occurred in his presence, he was certain that Henderson was never a participant. N.O.R.E. offered some comic relief on stand, with some humorous observations, including that the prosecutor looked like a music booking agent in his suit. And when N.O.R.E. left the witness stand, he waved good-bye to everyone. Later, outside the courtroom, the MC insisted Henderson was innocent. If found guilty, Henderson could face the death penalty.