Price said Berry and Burton clashed at the Platinum 21 Adult Entertainment club in Atlanta. Berry and Burton happened to run into each other Monday in the restroom of P.F. Chang's China Bistro in the Beverly Center in what Price described as a chance encounter.
Price says the rapper threatened Berry, who decided to leave the restaurant. When Berry went to the mall's valet area for his car, Burton and two other people followed him, the attorney said. Berry thought Burton was reaching for his waistband and fired his weapon. "He perceived that his life was in danger," Price said.
Now the huge hole in this defense is that by this story, unless Berry is a robot or a Cylon Sentinel, he was walking through this restaurant with his gun drawn, because he managed to bust one off thinking that Dolla was going for a gun. Think about that for a minute. But what this defense move reminds me of is the result of the trial for the killing of Sean Bell. The story for the cops was that they "felt threatened" and though there was no visible weapon, the movement of the Bell and co. justified the shooting.
It will be interesting to see how this defense works out in this case since the claims are very similar. Does a citizen have the right to pre-emptivelyprotect himself from a perceived threat just as the police apparently do? I don't think the argument will fly even if they establish that a prior altercation happened. That whole walking through the restaurant with the gun at the ready is probably going to doom the defense.