After walking into a police precinct almost two years ago to confess that he’d shot a man nearly two decades earlier, rapper G-Dep will now be heading to trial to face murder charges for which he faces 25 years to life in prison. He is expected to plead not guilty. Opening statements are set for Tuesday.
On December 15, 2010, G-Dep, born Trevell Coleman, told New York City police that he’d shot a man in an Oct. 19, 1993, armed robbery attempt on a Harlem street. G-Dep, who was 18 at the time, said he’d shot the man three times in the chest after the man tried to grab the weapon, then fled on a bicycle and threw the gun in the East River.
“I pulled it back to me, and then I fired. I fired, um, three times,” the former Bad Boy MC said in a videotaped statement to police, according to reports.
The victim, 32-year-old John Henkel, died from his injuries. He left behind a wife and three children.
“I was surprised…for some reason, I really didn’t think that he died,” G-Dep told the New York Post shortly after confessing. “When they told me, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m not going home after this.’”
He confessed suddenly and despite his mother and girlfriend’s advice not to, and wondered if karma for his crime was the reason for the hardships he’d faced later in his life.
“I thought that if I turned myself in, it might give me closure,” he told the NYP.
“Conscience drove him to do something. … He thinks he did the right thing,” said G-Dep’s attorney Anthony L. Ricco at a hearing this past winter. “There’s a lot of people who think he’s a fool for doing this. He doesn’t think he’s a fool. He says this has been like a blessing.”
About the confession, G-Dep said he was “just trying to get right with God” because “I haven’t been living right.”
While G-Dep thought his confession would bring peace to Henkel’s family, the victim’s relatives say the rapper’s revelation has done the opposite.
“Finally, we’re not always thinking about it … and now it has to be dug up all again,” stepbrother Robert Henkel told the NYP.
In the case set to begin Tuesday, the Huffington Post reports that G-Dep refused prosecutors’ offer of a 15-year sentence for a guilty plea.
Ricco is expected to ask jurors “to scrutinize the confession through the prism of a person racked by extended PCP use,” says the Washington Post. After struggling with drugs for years, G-Dep had completed a six-month rehab program for his PCP addiction shortly before his confession. Friends of the MC say his drug usage stemmed from the death of the grandmother who raised him.
Once a rising star for Diddy‘s Bad Boy Records, G-Dep (short for “Ghetto Dependent”) struck with 2001′s “Special Delivery,” the song’s star-studded remix and the popular “Let’s Get It,” but was eventually dropped from the label.