On May 25, aspiring rapper Lawrence Christopher Smith was sentenced to 84 years to life in prison for the November 2004 shooting death of Dom Perignon Champagne in Southeast San Diego. During his sentencing for first-degree murder, Smith chastised the victim's mother for not attending all trial dates. "What you're doing is spitting on your own son's grave.... I'm glad. I hope you do suffer, as far as that goes."
Smith, 25, is said to have been driving his Oldsmobile Cutlass when either he or a passenger shot at 18-year-old Champagne. The police report indicates that Champagne, in his own sedan, was playing "Crip-killing music."
Smith's 16-year-old passenger, Jimmy Lopez (now 18), has pleaded guilty to shooting into an occupied vehicle and faces a possible eight years in prison.
Deputy district attorney Michael Runyon says rap lyrics found in Smith's jail cell during his trial express admiration for Washington, D.C., sniper Lee Malvo.
During sentencing, Runyon shared a sample lyric with the court: "The meek wouldn't speak, so we had to shear them like sheep."