After being on the lam for a month, rapper Keith Murray turned himself in to Connecticut police on Friday, but not before speaking with MTV News about his time on the run.
"Right now, I'm a fugitive, but I just came to clear up some things like I'm not running from the law because I'm scared to go," the rapper explained on Friday. "I just ran because I had to take care of a few things with my business and with my family and with my case with evidence so I could go in and be prepared to come out as soon as possible. I'm not a fugitive on the run, dangerous person. I didn't rape a girl and I didn't hit nobody with a chair." [28.8 RealVideo]
Murray was convicted of assault in 1996 after a jury found him guilty of striking a man with a chair. The rapper had been free on appeal until a Connecticut judge ordered him to begin serving a three-year prison sentence on September 24. On
that date, Murray failed to turn himself in, and the very same judge ordered the rapper to be re-arrested and set Murray's bail at $2 million.
"I had to prepare myself to go in and at the time, I wasn't prepared to go in there and rot like that," Murray told MTV News of his decision. "But now I'm going up there to turn myself in with my lawyer and everything and when the situation is turned over, I'll be out as soon as possible."
After his interview, Murray left for Connecticut with his Def Squad partner Eric Sermon and his manager. He turned himself in to Connecticut police Friday afternoon, and he faces a court date in the case Monday morning.
Murray continues to maintain his innocence, and said that much of the last month has been spent finding ways to overturn the verdict.
"I switched attorneys, I seeked better counseling, and I got numerous grounds to get my case turned over," Murray said. "I was getting together evidence and going over the case with
him during this period of time (when) I didn't turn myself in. So it ain't like I just disrespected the law. I'm not a bad person. I had to take care of what was right for me before I go in there and I couldn't maneuver."
Murray remains optimistic that he will not have to serve the complete three-year sentence.
"I don't know the procedures exactly," Murray said. "It could take a month, two months, a year, six months, but hopefully, God willing, it won't be too long."
The rapper added that his decision to postpone the start of his sentence was not based on his feelings about the initial verdict, but that he did find it hard to come to terms with.
"Emotion didn't play a part in me not going," Murray told MTV News. "Of course, I feel like a got a raw deal. I'm emotionally moved by it. I'm not happy about it, but that didn't play a part in me not going."
The jailtime comes as Murray was preparing to release his upcoming solo album on December 15,
and just as he is due to turn up on a remix of the Beastie Boys' next single, "Body Movin'."
Murray seemed to have resurfaced briefly this week, calling in to a New York cable access show called Star and Buc-Wild's Player Hater Line on Monday and claiming, "Listen, it ain't the fact that I'll turn myself in for a time. It's a conspiracy theory against me, yo... And we all know how it's going to blow over, just like you said Star. That time is going to blow over, but right now I'm in a situation, sh** ain't no game" (see "Keith Murray Surfaces On Cable Access Show, Remains A Wanted Man"). Murray claims that he did not make the call, and that the caller was, in fact, an imposter.