News: G. Dep Explains Accidental Fatal Shooting, Claims He Pulled Back

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 8:50PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Incarcerated rapper G. Dep speaks on the fatal 1993 shooting of a New York man which ultimately cost him a 15 years to life prison sentence in an interview later tonight (September 20).

According to Dep, he did not have any intent on killing slain New Yorker John Henkel in a botched robbery.

Coleman dropped out of college at age 18 in search of a music career. He funded recording sessions by selling cocaine on the streets of Harlem, N.Y. He dabbled in drugs himself, and for $500, he bought a gun. In fall 1993, a month before his 19th birthday, Coleman used that gun to mug a stranger, he said. "He was standing under the scaffolding on Park Avenue, 114th street. ... I was riding my bike," he recalled. "I told him, 'Give me the money.' ... He was kind of, you know, unresponsive." Then, Coleman said, the stranger started coming towards him. "The guy grabbed the gun, and I pulled the gun back and that's when I fired," he said. "And the guy winced and I didn't know what happened." (ABC News)

Instead of holding onto the murder weapon, Dep said he ditched it in a nearby river.

Coleman said he fired three times and then fled on his bike, telling no one what had happened. As he left home the next morning, the police were canvasing the neighborhood and stopped him on the street. "They said, 'Do you know anything about a shooting that occurred yesterday?' And I said, 'Nah,'" Coleman said. "That made me think he didn't pass away, because they said 'shooting.'" A week later, Coleman said, he threw the gun into the East River. He stayed quiet about the Harlem shooting for four years and poured himself into his music. (ABC News)

Last year, Dep argued he already spent nearly 20 years living with the dark secret he killed a man.

The jury's decision to convict Coleman pushed both his wife and his mother to tears. But when Coleman returned to Rikers and got on the telephone, nobody could believe how he sounded. "He's like, 'Hey, how you doing, man?'?" says Jonathan "Kwame" Owusu, who was his manager. "He was upbeat. It didn't make any sense." Three weeks later, a judge sentenced him to fifteen years to life. "I was happy," Coleman recalls. "It sounds crazy to say you were happy about getting a fifteen-to-life sentence, but I was. It just seemed to me like the end of a nightmare ... I was living in 1993 for seventeen years." (NY Mag)

Over summer 2012, reports surfaced which claimed Dep had plans to put out an autobiography in the near future.

In this passage the imprisoned MC tells a disturbing tale from his youth. One day, 10-year-old Coleman found a gun while playing with his friends near Harlem's notorious James Weldon Johnson housing projects. Dep vividly recounts the details of the exciting yet horrifying day, and of his adolescent crew's plans to cash in on the score. Moreover, he does it all in verse form. (This would definitely make an ill audio book.) (Complex)

Back in May 2012, the incarcerated rapper discussed getting 15 years to life on a murder conviction.

G.Dep told The New York Post from Rikers, where he awaits transfer, that he felt he acted responsibly when he walked into a Harlem precinct two years ago and told police officers he shot a man in 1993. He said he wanted to clear his conscience. "Maybe at the end of serving time or after looking back, someone might feel differently," G. Dep told the paper. "But now I feel what I did was right." The rapper says his wife, who initially discouraged him from confessing, is beginning to understand why he came clean. He also told the Post he believes his daughter understands his decision -- and his sons are as aware of his circumstances at they can be at just five years old. (NBC New York)

Following the news, New York producer Dame Grease hit up SOHH with his reaction.

"I know G. Dep personally," Grease told SOHH. "Even though probably after [confessing] he was sick about it, the whole confession was just a thing to clear his soul. I look at things differently, you know what I'm saying? When you see a man going through things, you can see something's weighing down on him. I guess that was the thing. I just wish him all the best of luck. He's got good fans, good friends and support for during his bid. He's a good guy, overall. Hopefully he'll get out on an early release." (SOHH)

Watch ABC News' Deborah Roberts' jailhouse interview with Trevell Coleman on "Nightline" tonight at 12:35 a.m. ET.

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