I made some enemies when I spoke my mind after Proof of D12 passed away; I have watched people from the Bender say demeaning things about RIP Deshaun Holton, Eminem and D12…now the same bitches are suing Proof’s estate for the second time. My word to you bitches: fuck the Bender clan!
by Josh Grossberg
Aug 23, 2006, 10:25 AM PT
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
The family of the man gunned down by Proof during a nightclub altercation four months ago is suing the D12 member’s estate again after their first civil suit failed to pass muster with the court and was dismissed.
Keith Bender Jr., 35, was shot by the rapper moments before Proof himself was shot and killed by a bouncer.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the latest suit was filed Tuesday in Wayne County Circuit Court and holds Proof, whose real name was Deshaun Holton, liable for Bender’s death on Apr. 11 at the CCC club. Court papers cite the hip-hopster’s past propensity for packing guns and engaging in acts of violence evidenced by his very long rap sheet as cause for the legal action.
The tragic incident got started when the 32-year-old Proof, a close confidante of Eminem, got into a heated argument with Bender, a Gulf War veteran, during a game of pool at the Eight Mile Road nightspot.
Police cite several witnesses who claim they saw the emcee borrow a friend’s gun before pistol-whipping Bender and shooting him in the face. It was at that point that Mario Etheridge, the nightclub’s bouncer and Bender’s cousin, fired at Proof, hitting him once in the head and twice in the chest.
Proof died from his injuries later the same morning and was laid to rest after an extravagant funeral that included a horse-drawn carriage to transport his body and a remembrance speech from his “brother,” Slim Shady.
Bender was hospitalized in critical condition and remained on life support before succumbing to his injuries a week later. He was buried following a simple service attended by his family.
Etheridge, 28, surrendered to police a few days after the shooting and was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and for discharging a firearm in a building, but was not charged in the artist’s death after prosecutors determined he had acted in self-defense to protect his cousin.
In the aftermath, questions were raised among the various parties as to who shot first, with police and Etheridge’s lawyer, Randall Upshaw, pointing the finger at Proof. Toxicology tests later showed the rapper’s blood-alcohol level was 0.32, four times the state’s legal limit.
Michael Cafferty, a lawyer representing Bender’s relatives, said that Proof shouldn’t be lauded as a hero or martyr when “it was his own criminalistic conduct that not only led to his death, but took the life of an honorable, innocent man.”
Such suggestions were dismissed by Eminem and Proof’s legal eagle, David Gorosh, who called the charge “reckless.”
The latest legal action seeks unspecified damages. Attorneys for Bender’s family and Holton declined to comment Wednesday.