clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Rapper G. Dep faces trial for '93 shooting

G. Dep confessed in 2010 to the killing, but pleads not guilty

NEW YORK — Almost a decade after a brief turn on rap's fast track, G. Dep was aiming toward a comeback. But then he went to a police station to reveal a damning secret: He'd shot a stranger while trying to mug him 17 years before.

He's now slated to go on trial on murder and other charges, despite a confession he hasn't disputed making — indeed, he's called it a relief. His lawyers, who have said the rapper turned down a plea deal that called for 15 years to life in prison, have suggested he'll question whether years of PCP use factored in his client's admission.

G. Dep, 37, a married father of three school-age children, faces the possibility of 25 years to life behind bars if he's convicted in a case that was dormant until he spoke up in December 2010. Victim John Henkel's own family has criticized the rapper's decision to come forward, saying it needlessly stoked the relatives' pain.

Regardless, the rapper doesn't regret it, his lawyer says.

"Conscience drove him to do something. ... He thinks he did the right thing," defense lawyer Anthony L. Ricco said after a hearing this winter.

"There's a lot of people who think he's a fool for doing this. He doesn't think he's a fool," Ricco said. "He says this has been like a blessing. It's saved his life."

Jury selection is scheduled to start Monday. Ricco and fellow G. Dep lawyer Neville Mitchell didn't return calls this week; the Manhattan district attorney's office declined to comment. G. Dep, who is being held without bail, has pleaded not guilty.