Belo, a member of the Chicago rap group Do or Die, has been charged in a murder case that took place in 2002, while his girlfriend is being charged for witness tampering.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the rapper (born Darnell Smith) is currently on trial for the death of Raynard Pinkston. Prosecutors allege that Belo shot and killed Pinkston in November of 2002.
However, the prosecution recently ran into some obstacles that may amount to witness tampering. According to the prosecution, there were eight or more witnesses to the shooting, but recently several have recanted prior testimonies to defense attorneys.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Felicia Hamilton, Belo’s 34-year-old girlfriend, has been charged with two felony counts each of communication with a witness and obstruction of justice. Yesterday (July 27) Hamilton was ordered to be held without bail.
“There are four total witnesses who say they got paid off,” Cook County Assitant State’s Attorney Brian Sexton told the Chicago Tribune. “We suspect they all got paid off.”
Hamilton became a witness tampering suspect in March, after allegedly paying $500 to one of the witnesses in Belo’s case. After reporting the payoff to police, the witness wore a wire during another meeting with Hamilton where he was told “not to come to the trial” Sexton said.
Currently on probation for possession of a controlled substance, Hamilton will appear in court again Tuesday (August 1) to face the obstruction of justice and communicating with a witness charges. A judge will determine whether her probation was violated in court on Wednesday (August 2).
Belo’s group Do or Die is best known for their 1996 single “Po Pimp,” which also featured fellow Chicago rapper Twista. The group has released seven albums as well as a greatest hits set in the last decade. Last fall the group broke into the Top 40 hip-hop charts with their latest album, D.O.D.