NEW YORK — – Prosecutors have hinted in court papers that they have about three witnesses who will testify that the hip-hop honcho at least brandished a gun at Club New York in Midtown last December, during a shoot-em-up that put three clubgoers in the hospital.
But as many as 30 other witnesses from the club's crowded dance floor will testify for the defense — and counter that Combs was unarmed, according to multiple sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The ratio of witnesses for and against accused shooter Jamal "Shyne" Barrow - about six for the prosecution, versus some two dozen who help the defense — is shaping up to be equally skewed.
With so many witnesses — Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos has warned court personnel he'll be calling about 50 on the prosecution case — the trial is on track to last as long as eight weeks.
That's longer than many murder trials — and twice as long as the trial of four cops accused of murdering Amadou Diallo took last year in Albany.
The defense strategy — dazzle 'em with numbers — emerged as both sides in the hip-hop shooting case geared up for jury selection next week.
All parties are scheduled to appear in court today to discuss jury-selection rules and whether the defense can have an expert perform tests on gunpowder residue collected by cops the night of the shooting.
Tempers were already flaring yesterday, during a routine pre-trial conference — on topics including whether Bogdanos can use Barrow's pistol-packed rap lyrics against him if he takes the stand.
Barrow lawyer Murray Richman accused Bogdanos of "histrionics," "trying to abuse me," and being "unprofessional."