By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
Opening statements are set for today in the murder trial of rapper G. Dep. In 2010, the former Bad Boy artist (who gained fame in the early 2000 with songs like “Let’s Get It” and “Special Delivery,”) admitted to fatally shooting a man nearly two decades ago. “I shot and killed someone 17 years ago,” Dep (born Trevell Coleman) reportedly told an officer at the 25th precinct in Harlem according to the New York Post.
Dep told police that he was riding a bike when he approached the victim, 32-year-old John Henkel, on Park Avenue and East 114th Street near the James Weldon Johnson housing projects. Then-18 years old, Dep was planning to rob Henkel, but when Henkel resisted, Dep shot him three times in the chest with a .40-caliber hand gun. Dep then fled from the crime scene and threw the gun into the East River. Henkel was pronounced dead at St. Luke’s hospital.
When probed as to why Dep would openly confess to a crime that would otherwise have gone cold, a police source at the time said, “It was just eating away at him.” According to the Washington Post, Dep has pled not guilty. His lawyer may focus on the effects that years of drug use had on the rapper’s confession.