NEW BRIGHTON — A Staten Island rapper and Wu-Tang Clan affiliate was charged with manslaughter after a fatal hit-and-run on New Year's Day in New Brighton, prosecutors said.
Shyheim Franklin, 36, who rapped under the name Little Shyheim, The Rugged Child and Manchild, turned himself in to police last week in connection with the accident that killed Felipe Avila, 29, of Tompkinsville, the Staten Island Advance reported.
Franklin initially expected to face charges of leaving the scene of the accident. Instead he was hit with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide at his arraignment in Supreme Court on Thursday, according to prosecutors.
On Jan. 1, Franklin, driving a 2003 Volvo S80, struck Avila's 1996 Toyota Celica at the intersection of Cassidy Place and Lafayette Avenue and fled the scene, prosecutors said.
According to the 10-count indictment, Franklin drove his Vovlo at high speed and failed to stop at the intersection after he struck Avila's car.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and bail was set at $400,000, prosecutors said.
Franklin, a cousin of Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killa, had a moderate hit with his single "On and On" in 1993 and released his debut album "AKA the Rugged Child" on Virgin Records when he was just 14-years-old.
The rapper has a lengthy arrest record, which includes a 2013 raid on his apartment where police seized a revolver, heroin, Xanax and drug paraphernalia, the Advance reported.
Franklin is due back in court of Feb. 13.