Nephew claims self-defense in rapper’s shooting

Gai Scott, second from right, of Randolph. Mass., stands during an arraignment, Monday, March 31, 2014, in Plymouth, Mass. Scott was arraigned on charges in the shooting of his uncle and reality TV star Benzino, who was shot Saturday during a funeral procession. (AP Photo/The Patriot Ledger, Greg Derr, Pool)
Gai Scott, second from right, of Randolph. Mass., stands during an arraignment, Monday, March 31, 2014, in Plymouth, Mass. Scott was arraigned on charges in the shooting of his uncle and reality TV star Benzino, who was shot Saturday during a funeral procession. (AP Photo/The Patriot Ledger, Greg Derr, Pool)

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) – A man charged with shooting hip-hop artist and reality TV star Benzino, his uncle, during a weekend funeral procession on a Boston-area highway acted in self-defense, his lawyer said Monday.

Gai Scott, 36, of Randolph, pleaded not guilty in Plymouth District Court to armed assault with intent to murder. He was ordered held without bail pending a hearing Wednesday to determine whether he’s a danger to society.

Scott shot Benzino, whose real name is Raymond Scott, on Route 3 in Duxbury on Saturday as Benzino came upon his own mother’s funeral procession, authorities said.

“When the dust settles with respect to this case, it’s going to be abundantly clear that Mr. Scott, a licensed gun owner, was acting in self-defense and in defense of his family,” said Jon Ciraulo, Gai Scott’s lawyer.

The Plymouth district attorney’s office said in a statement that “growing family tension” between the men was behind the shooting.

Benzino, who was released Monday from South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, said he had paid his respects to his mother in private at a Quincy funeral home but decided to skip the procession and funeral because of tensions in the family over money.

Benzino, 48, a Boston native who now lives in Atlanta, said he was on his way to Plymouth to pick up a friend when he came upon the procession and someone opened fire.

He did not identify the person who shot him by name.

Benzino is a cast member of the VH1 reality show “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” and CEO of Hip-Hop Weekly magazine.

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