Rap mogul Irv Gotti's longtime friend KENNETH 'SUPREME' MCGRIFF has been convicted in a federal death penalty case for hiring hitmen to kill two rivals in 2001. MCGriff was found guilty of murder for hire and drug dealing in court in New York yesterday (01FEB07) after four days of jury deliberation. The jury will return to court in Brooklyn next Tuesday (05FEB07) to consider serving MCGriff a death penalty. MCGriff faces a minimum sentence of life in prison without parole. The convict left the court with a chilling reminder of his menace, smiling at his supporters as the verdict was issued. MCGriff has long been associated with Gotti, real name IRV LORENZO, and his Tha Inc clients, like Ja Rule. In the late 1990s, he teamed up with Gotti to produce movies and music. His lawyer, David Ruhnke (corr), admits he's disappointed with the verdict, but feels confident his client won't be sent to his death. He says, "We're pretty confident this jury will spare his life." Outside court, KAREN CAMERON - the mother of one of MCGriff's victims - told reporters she opposed a death sentence for her son's killer, stating, "Death is not the answer."