LATEST: Murder Inc record label associate KENNETH 'SUPREME' MCGRIFF could face the death penalty if he is found guilty of killing New York rapper ERIC 'E MONEY BAGS' SMITH and rival drug dealer Troy Singleton. Notorious drug lord MCGriff will go on trial next month (03APR06) for the slaying of Smith in May 2001, and the latter's associate Singleton five months later (OCT01). At a hearing in New York's Brooklyn Federal Court this week (ends24MAR06), prosecutors told Judge Frederic Bloch that the Department of Justice has filed notices of intention to seek the death penalty of five defendants, including MCGriff, claiming the dealer deserved to die for his alleged crimes because the murders were premeditated. Defence attorney David Ruhnke attacked the move by the Justice Department, saying a death penalty for defendant NICOLE BROWN - who is alleged to have acted as a lookout in the murder of Smith - "is simply absurd". The leader of the Supreme Team - one of New York's biggest drug gangs - faces two charges of murder and multiple counts of money laundering and drug dealing. MCGriff is accused of funnelling over $1 million (GBP590,000) in drug proceeds through music mogul Irv Gotti's Murder Inc record label in return for protection of Gotti and his brother CHRISTOPHER LORENZO.