Rapper Granted Early Parole for Decades-Old Murder Confession, Governor Hochul’s Decision Sparks Debate

Rapper Granted Early Parole for Decades-Old Murder Confession, Governor Hochul’s Decision Sparks Debate

G. Dep Granted Clemency for Decades-Old Murder Case

Travell ‘G. Dep’ Coleman, the rapper who turned himself in for a nearly two-decade-old cold murder case, has been granted clemency by New York Governor Kathy Hochul.

Coleman, now 49, served 13 years of his 15-year-to-life sentence after voluntarily confessing to the murder of John Henkel in 1993.

Early Parole and Governor’s Decision

Ahead of his scheduled parole eligibility in 2025, Governor Hochul’s decision to commute Coleman’s sentence allows him to seek parole two years earlier.

This move has drawn attention, as it comes amidst Hochul granting clemency to 15 individuals, marking the third instance of such action in 2023.

Redemption and Support for Clemency

Governor Hochul emphasized the clemency process as an acknowledgment of individuals’ efforts toward self-improvement and redemption.

Coleman’s prison tenure included earning an associate degree, active participation in violence prevention and sobriety counseling programs, and engaging in various educational and rehabilitative classes, supported by the assistant district attorney and the sentencing judge.

Rapper’s Career and Murder Confession

G. Dep, once a rising hip-hop star under Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ Bad Boy Records label, confessed in 2010 to the 1993 murder of John Henkel.

He expressed remorse, admitting to shooting Henkel during a robbery at the age of 18. The confession, which haunted him, led to his arrest and subsequent conviction in 2012.

Family’s Response and Controversy

The victim’s brother, Robert Henkel, expressed strong opposition to the prosecutor’s recommendation for Coleman’s release, calling it inappropriate for a murder case.

He emphasized the severity of the crime, questioning the appropriateness of clemency in such circumstances.

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