Former Bad Boy rapper G. Dep, born Trevell Coleman, was convicted of second-degree murder in New York on Tuesday (April 17) following a trial that began after Coleman admitted to killing a man in 1993 during a botched robbery attempt.
In late 2010, Coleman came forward to confess that he'd shot a man, identified by police as John Henkel, nearly two decades earlier in Harlem. According to Coleman's story, he attempted to rob a man on a Harlem corner, then shot him and rode off on a bicycle, not knowing whether the victim had survived.
Opening statements in the trial were made last week, on April 10, and one day later, Coleman dropped a bombshell on prosecutors by changing up his story. He claimed that while he did shoot someone, it was not Henkel.
Despite the change in story, the prosecution stood firm, contending that Henkel was the only victim who fit the details of Coleman's confession. "Eighteen years ago, the defendant made a calculated decision to steal from, shoot and kill an innocent person on the street," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a statement.
Trevell Coleman is expected to face a minimum sentence of 15 years to life in prison on May 8.
After the jury delivered a guilty verdict for the 37-year-old, defense lawyer Anthony Ricco praised his client's efforts to be honest. "He has a conscience and a heart, and his conscience and his heart brought him to where he is today," Ricco told reporters after the trial. "He's probably making the most powerful statement a rapper of his era can make, which is to be accountable and to do the right thing."
Coleman saw a brief rise to fame beginning in 1998 with an appearance on "The Mall" from Gang Starr's Moment of Truth album. Later that year he signed to Diddy's Bad Boy Records, and in 2001 he dropped his debut album, Child of the Ghetto, which spawned the hit single "Special Delivery." Still, the album failed to be a commercial success, and although he followed up with the 2004 mixtape The Deputy: The Sheriff Is Back in Town Volume 1, a slew of arrests, ranging from drug charges to grand larceny, put an end to his career for good.