Rapper Keith Murray Goes To Jail For Barroom Brawl

Fugitive artist turns himself in to New Britain, Conn., authorities on Monday (Oct. 26) after failing to appear to begin his sentence last month.

After more than a month on the lam, rapper Keith Murray turned himself in to New Britain

Superior Court in Connecticut on Monday (Oct. 26) to begin serving a three-year prison

sentence for assaulting a teen-age fan.

"He surrendered himself at 9:30 this morning," said Investigator Tony Duarte of the state

attorney's office. "He's beginning his three-year sentence."

Judge Frank Iannotti ordered Murray to the Hartford Correctional Center to begin serving

a three-year prison sentence stemming from a 1996 assault conviction. Iannotti also set

a Nov. 30 court date to address the rapper's failure to appear in court to begin his

sentence Sept. 24, a felony offense that carries a maximum penalty of five years in

prison, a $5,000 fine or both.

Paul Rotiroti, deputy assistant state's attorney, declined comment on Murray's

failure-to-appear charge but expressed his relief at Murray's surrender.

"I hope that by Mr. Murray going to jail it will provide some sense of closure and some

sense of justice to the victim and his family," he said.

Murray, 26, was scheduled to appear in September at the New Britain, Conn.,

courthouse to begin his three-year sentence for assaulting a teen-age fan with a barstool in 1995. He had appealed his sentencing all the way to the Connecticut Supreme

Court, seeking leniency in exchange for attending anger-management classes. After the

court certified his sentencing, the rapper was ordered to turn himself in to Iannotti at 10

a.m. Sept. 24.

When he was still a no-show three hours later, the arrest warrant was ordered.

Murray's conviction stemmed from a May 24, 1995, bar brawl at a New Britain nightclub

called The Sting. The rapper, on tour to support his 1994 solo debut, The Most

Beautifullest Thing in This World, struck the then-16-year-old David Hughes over the

head with a metal barstool.

According to court documents, Hughes was attempting to break up a fight between

Murray and Hughes' brother Latif, a local promoter, according to the New Britain

Herald newspaper.

The assault left the teen-ager, who had gone to the club to see Murray perform, with a

12-inch scar across his face, crippling headaches and emotional troubles.

Murray first appeared on the hip-hop scene with a few raspy-but-smooth rhymes on Erick

Sermon's 1993 solo debut, No Pressure. In 1994, Murray released The Most

Beautifullest Thing in This World and scored a hit with the title track. The album is

also notable for spawning "How's That," the first song that featured Murray with his future

Def Squad bandmates, Sermon and Redman.

Murray's upcoming album, It's A Beautiful Thing, is slated for a Dec. 3 release.

Calls to Murray's attorney and his Jive label were not returned by press time.