Tennessee rapper pleads guilty in killing

July 23, 2004 at 2:24 PM

LEBANON, Tenn., July 23 (UPI) -- A Tennessee rapper charged with killing a rival pleaded guilty to a lesser charge because he feared he would lose a jury trial, it was reported Friday.

Donald R. Green II, 19, accepted a plea bargain to a charge of voluntary manslaughter in a Lebanon court Thursday, giving the defendant the possibility of leaving prison on parole after 4 1/2 years, the Nashville Tennessean said.

"It's better than losing a trial. I was (expecting) the worst. I wasn't going to risk" a harsher sentence if convicted by a jury, Green said.

Green shot Nicholas "Todd" T. Grissim, 22, on June 18, 2003, in Lebanon's town square because, Green said, he was afraid.

Green, of the rap group Top Dollar, had a rivalry with Rockford A. Cox, who was with Grissim on the night of the shooting.

Before the plea bargain, Green faced a second-degree murder charge which meant, if convicted, the teen could serve 15 to 60 years.

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