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Chi-Ali speaks about case on E!
Chi-Ali Griffith was the centerpiece of a recent "Child Star Confidential" special that aired on E! Billed as a chance to tell his story from behind bars "in his own words," Chi-Ali talked about the highs that started with his association with Queen Latifah, the Flavor Unit and Black Sheep, and the lows that found him on the run, wanted for murder and featured on "America's Most Wanted" -- twice. Speaking from the Elmira Correctional Facilty where he is serving a 14-year sentence, Chi-Ali said he is trying to "make the best out of the worst." He described the perks of his fame, which peaked with hit single "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number" from his 1992 album The Fabulous Chi-Ali. "Girls. Girls. Defintely the No. 1 perk. I mean, the money, too. But I was so young, it was like the money -- I didn't care." But Chi-Ali went on to describe how once his second album got permanantly stalled and the fame went away, the money mattered, and he turned to selling drugs to make ends meet. "Did I carry a gun? Yeah. Guns, drugs... that scene goes together." But he soon found out that having a gun available can mean trouble when tensions get high, as they did when the mother of his child called and asked for money on Jan. 14, 2000. Chi-Ali asked her brother to let her borrow $20 and he allegedly insulted him. "One thing led to another, we got into it and he said to suck his whatever. Those were fighting words, and those are words that usually bring aggression." Chi-Ali said he never thought to walk away. Instead he shot an killed Sean Raymond. "Thirty seconds can change your whole life. And I'm paying for it." Facing murder charges, he decided to run. "Turning myself in wasn't an option. If I get caught, it's over," he said. "I'll be in jail the rest of my life." Chi-Ali moved around to Atlanta, Miami, South Carolina and North Carolina selling marijuana and was in New Jersey when "America's Most Wanted" first featured him in November 2001. A week after the second time it aired in early 2002, a tip placed Chi-Ali in the Bronx and he was arrested. Chi-Ali was convicted of manslughter and sent to prison for 14 years. "I just made a big mistake," he said. "And there's consequences to those mistakes."

-- The 411 Online

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