Just days after confessing to committing a murder 17 years ago, rapper G.Dep said he didn't know his victim, 32-year-old John Henkel, who he shot three times after a botched robbery attempt back in 1993, had actually died.
In an interview with The New York Post, Dep, born Trevell Coleman, said the police informed him of this fact when he walked into the 25th precinct to confess on Wednesday.
"I was surprised — for some reason, I really didn't think that he died," Dep told the Post from jail. "When they told me, I was like, 'Oh, I'm not going home after this.' "
Manhattan District Attorney's Office spokesperson Erin Duggan said Dep is charged with murder, and faces life in prison if convicted. Dep maintained that guilt drove him to confess to a crime that he initially appeared to get away with.
"I didn't think about it," he said of his thought process at the time of the shooting. "That's just the life I was living back then. [But] I started to wonder if all the bad things that happened to me in my life were karma for what I did . . . you start to think 'My happiness is because of someone else's sadness.' I thought that if I turned myself in, it might give me closure."
By confessing, Dep went against the wishes of his family, and left others puzzled by his logic.
"I told my mom and my girlfriend that I wanted to confess, and they both told me to leave it in the past," he said. "People in [jail] don't understand how you can confess. I'm just trying to get right with God. The only thing I regret is that I have to leave my kids."
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly wasn't wholly convinced. "Maybe he had a pang of conscience," he said. "We'll take it any way we can get it."
Citing law enforcement officials, the Post reports that Dep has been arrested over 30 times, most recently for trespassing with drugs on city housing property in November. Dep has also reportedly battled drug addiction. After his grandmother died four years ago, Dep is said to have turned to the drug PCP to help him cope. In September, he detailed his struggles with drug addiction in an interview with XXL magazine.
"Things were going wild with the label," he said. "I just kind of fell back into street mode. I can't fault anybody. I just fell victim to my own gluttony."
The rapper was once part of the stable of artists on Diddy's Bad Boy Records. He released his debut LP, Child of the Ghetto, in 2001, but was dropped a few years later. In 2004 he dropped a mixtape, The Deputy: The Sheriff Is Back in Town Volume 1, but has since maintained a low profile in the music scene.