This Bullet Passed By

Two assailants are serving time (40 years and 21 years) for the June 2005 Oceanside murder of Rusty Seau, a cousin of former Charger linebacker Junior Seau. Attempts to prosecute a third person, rapper Joseph Turner, 22, failed last week when deputy DA Giacomo Bucci -- who had a witness refuse to testify on the second day of the trial -- admitted he didn't have a case. Judge Joan Weber dismissed the case and Turner was freed.

Bucci's strategy to convict Turner included plans to introduce a "Blurt" article from July 2003. That article included lyrics written and recorded by Turner, who used the stage name Tiny Bamm. Turner's attorney, Lynn Behymer, maintained that the article should not be introduced because the lyrics were fictional and used to portray a gangster image. ("Fuck police, I can't stand 'em/ Shoot 'em in the back of the head and throw 'em in the Grand Canyon...") The attorneys agreed that the lyrics would not be read in court.

Behymer says the law-enforcement community was "unduly influenced by the lyrics.... I believe they wanted to use [the printed lyrics] to show he was a bad person.... They tried to show that he was a member of the [Oceanside gang] Deep Valley Crips. I don't think he was a full-blown member of a gang. He created this gang persona, and the gang cops really believed him."

Prosecutor Bucci did not return a request to speak about the case.

Private attorney Behymer was appointed to represent Turner; his fee was paid by the county. (One of Turner's lyrics included the line, "Court-appointed lawyers they don't do us no justice/ Illegal search and seizure just means you're busted.")

Behymer says that Turner never attained success as a rapper and that he has given up pursuing a career in hip-hop. "He has settled down. He has a wife and a child."

Turner (whom Behymer advised not to speak to the press) could not be reached.

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