Notorious B.I.G. Suit Drops Defendants

Relatives of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. (search) have removed from their wrongful death lawsuit a man who had been accused of conspiring to kill the 24-year-old entertainer and also plan to remove another man, leaving the city of Los Angeles as the sole defendant.

The move follows a June 3 report by the Los Angeles Times that a paid police informant who told investigators that rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight (search) and a rogue police officer orchestrated the killing later admitted that most of the information was "hearsay."

Notorious B.I.G., born as Christopher Wallace (search), was gunned down March 9, 1997, after a music-industry party in the Mid-Wilshire district. The case remains unsolved.

His estate, mother, Voletta Wallace, and other relatives sued the city on allegations that Los Angeles Police Department officials covered up police involvement in the murder. The suit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages, is scheduled to go to trial June 23.

Court papers filed Friday dropped former officer David A. Mack from the suit, but offered no explanation. In exchange for being removed as a defendant, Mack agreed not to sue for malicious prosecution, the Times said.

On Monday, attorneys for the Wallace family are expected to file court papers to drop Amir Muhammad, Mack's college classmate, from the suit. Muhammad had been accused of being the gunman in the murder.

Knight was never named as a defendant, but the suit accuses him of ordering the killing.

Attorney Perry Sanders, who represents the Wallace family, said the case is still strong.

"This is a civil rights case against the city of Los Angeles," Sanders said. "This has always been a case against the city."

In August, the city turned down Voletta Wallace's offer to settle the case for $105 million. The family later agreed to accept $18 million, but the City Council rejected the proposed settlement in September.