NEW YORK – The 1993 killing of a man outside a housing complex was a cold case for years until a suspect appeared on detectives’ doorstep last week.
Apparently haunted by his secret, once-promising rapper G. Dep walked into a police precinct to confess to the shooting, authorities said. The rapper is being held without bail on a murder charge after surprised investigators matched the details he provided to the unsolved slaying of John Henkel.
For the 36-year-old G. Dep, the charge marks a low point in his long fall from rapper on the rise. After scoring a couple of hits in the early 2000s, he has been mired in drug and legal problems in recent years, though he was attempting a comeback with an album released online this year.
But the murder case also represents his determination to turn a troubled life around, his lawyer said Tuesday.
“He’s trying to remake his life,” attorney Michael Alperstein said. Guided by a substance-treatment program, “He was making amends,” Alperstein said.
Henkel was shot in the chest three times outside an East Harlem apartment complex early on Oct. 19, 1993, well before G. Dep’s brief heyday. The rapper told a detective last week he pulled a .40-caliber handgun to rob the victim and fired when he resisted.
But, he said, the shooting ate away at him over the years.
“I started to wonder if all the bad things that happened to me in my life were karma for what I did,” he told the New York Post.
G. Dep, born Trevell Coleman, was one of the rising stars of hip-hop impresario Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records in the late 1990s and early 2000s.