What a difference a couple of decades make.
I remember this gangly defendant on trial charged with attempted murder.
In truth, he was riding in a car with someone else who shot and wounded another man in the all-too-frequent gang-style drive by shootings in Los Angeles. (In California, just being a passenger in a car from which anyone in the car shoots and wounds or kills someone is treated by the law the same as the actual shooter.)
At that time I served as the public information officer for the Los Angeles Superior Court. This attempted-murder trial didn’t attract the attention the trial judge anticipated, in no small part because of another trial that was in progress on another floor of the Superior Court’s Criminal Courts Building. That was a murder trial in which the defendant’s celebrity was far greater.
That defendant was former college and professional football star, turned movie actor and television as pitchman, O.J. Simpson.
At the time, the attempted-murder trial defendant’s star was still rising. He had already changed his name from Calvin Broadus, which was on the criminal complaint, to Snoop Doggy Dogg.
He, like Simpson, was acquitted.
Unlike Simpson, he changed his name again, and yet again, first to just Snoop Dogg, then to Snoop Lion.
Also, unlike Simpson, he is not serving time in prison.
And, although he’s still big in the gangsta-rap racket, his image and reputation have been cleaning up nicely.