Vinson Hardimon, the aspiring Atlanta rapper known as Young Vito, was found not guilty of murdering Waka Flocka Flame affiliate Slim Dunkin on Monday, Feb. 25. The 23-year old Dunkin, born Mario Hamilton, was shot and killed Dec. 16, 2011, after he and Hardimon got into an argument at a recording studio over a piece of candy.
Witnesses to the shooting all stated that Hardimon pulled the trigger, though police were never able to recover a murder weapon.
Despite his acquittal on charges of murder and felony murder, Hardimon, 29, was convicted of aggravated assault and possession of a handgun during the commission of a felony crime. He was sentenced to the maximum — 25 years — by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall.
“I just think he’s prone to carry a gun, and he’s violent and dangerous,” Judge Schwall said.
Hamilton’s father, Mark Hamilton, is frustrated with the murder and felony murder acquittals, but expressed relief that Hardimon would serve time. “I’m disappointed with that verdict,” Hamilton said. “I don’t know what (the jury) saw. In the end, he got 25 years and we can have some closure.”
Months before the Hamilton shooting, Hardimon entered an “Alford” guilty plea — not admitting guilt, but conceding that a prosecutor may find enough evidence to convince a jury to convict — after he was arrested and accused of holding a gun on his ex-girlfriend and her 16-year-old daughter. That plea was entered last year while he was in jail for Hamilton’s shooting.
Dunkin was recording a video with Atlanta rap star Gucci Mane when the altercation with Young Vito occurred. Vito reportedly shot the Brick Squad rapper after their crews separated them.