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Harlem Rapper G.Dep Guilty in Cold Case Murder

By Sonja Sharp | April 17, 2012 3:40pm | Updated on April 17, 2012 6:26pm
G.Dep poses for photos at the World Hip-Hop Championship on May 3, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
G.Dep poses for photos at the World Hip-Hop Championship on May 3, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Denise Truscello/WireImage

MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — Rapper G.Dep, who confessed to a 1993 shooting without realizing his victim had died, was found guilty of murder Tuesday.

In an attempt to clear his conscience, the former budding star, whose real name is Trevell Coleman, told police he shot John Henkel in an attempted robbery in Harlem.

“He has a conscience and a heart, and his conscience and his heart brought him to where he is today,” said defense attorney Anthony Ricco, who embraced Coleman’s crying wife and mother in the court hallway shortly after the verdict was announced.

In a videotaped confession played for jurors, Coleman admitted to firing three shots from a .40 caliber semi-automatic weapon near the Johnson Houses at Park Avenue and 114th Street.  Henkel was shot three times at close range with the same caliber weapon.

Prosecutors combed old police records in search of similar shootings, but details in the Henkel case matched almost seamlessly with the rapper's tale.  

“Eighteen years ago, the defendant made a calculated decision to steal from, shoot and kill an innocent person on the street,” District Attorney Cy  Vance said in a release shortly after the verdict. “While nothing can bring the victim back, with this verdict a case that was open for nearly two decades is now closed.”

Although Coleman now faces a up to life in prison, Ricco said his client never regretted his decision to come forward.

"He's made one of the most powerful statements a rapper of this era can make, which is to be accountable," Ricco said. "I told him not to regret his decision, and that God won't abandon him."