Ludacris' Manager Chaka Zulu Will Not Face Murder Charge, Prosecutors Say He Acted in Self Defense

The co-founder of Disturbing Tha Peace Records was shot in the back during the altercation.

Image via Getty/Jerritt Clark for Culture Creators

Fulton County prosecutors have dropped the murder charge against Ludacris’ longtime manager Chaka Zulu after determining that he acted in self-defense in the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Artez Benton last year.

"From the beginning of this case, Mr. Zulu was committed to a fair process," Zulu's attorney Gabe Banks said in a statement. "He fully believes that after a thoughtful examination of all the facts and evidence related to this matter, District Attorney Willis reached an appropriate and just decision."

A spokesperson for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis delivered a statement to WSB-TV following the decision.

"The Atlanta Police Department made an arrest on charges determined at a standard of probable cause, which is their duty in this and all cases," the statement reads. "The District Attorney’s office investigates cases to determine what can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial...Our investigation of the facts and analysis of applicable law indicates that this is an appropriate resolution of this case based on the standard of proof required."

Zulu turned himself in to authorities nearly three months after the June 26 shooting outside the restaurant APT 4B, which he owns. Zulu was one of three people shot when a physical altercation broke out in the parking lot. Benton was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Zulu was charged with murder, aggravated assault, possession of firearm during commission of a felony, and simple battery. A warrant obtained by WSB-TV alleges he "knowingly and intentionally did commit the offense of murder, shooting Mr. Artez Benton in the chest with a firearm."

Banks expressed disappointment in the charges filed against Zulu, arguing that surveillance footage and eyewitness accounts prove his client was "attacked and jumped from behind by a gang of at least four individuals," one of whom was Benton.

Banks maintained Zulu was "forced to defend himself after this gang repeatedly stomped, punched, and kicked him while he was on the ground in a defenseless posture." Banks also mentioned his client was licensed to carry the firearm used in the incident.

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