Rapper Kidd Creole guilty of manslaughter after homophobic attack on homeless man

7 April 2022, 12:37 | Updated: 7 April 2022, 12:49

Kidd Creole found guilty of manslaughter after fatally stabbing homeless man in Manhattan Supreme Court. Picture: Getty

By Liam Gould

Rapper Kidd Creole - whose real name is Nathaniel Glover - has been found guilty of first-degree manslaughter in relation to the fatal stabbing of a homeless man in New York City.

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The 62-year old rap pioneer was found guilty by jury hours after the closing arguments were given in a New York courthouse.

Prosecutors said the rapper stabbed John Jolly, 55, twice in the chest with a steak knife after becoming enraged because he thought Mr Jolly was gay and hitting on him.

The incident occurred on August 1, 2017 in Manhattan as Glover was heading to work.

Glover was arrested the day after and has been in custody at Rikers Island since. He faces a prison sentence of up to 25 years when he is sentenced next month.

Glover is said to have dropped his head when the guilty verdict was read by the judge.

The trial opened with Glover's lawyer telling a jury it was self-defence when the hip-hop pioneer stabbed Mr Jolly, a homeless man, to death with a steak knife in 2017.

Mr Jolly was found wounded by tourists minutes after the attack. Glover ran from the scene, where he washed the knife, and later disposed of it in a sewer.

The artist, a founding member of Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, was charged with murder and went on trial on Friday in a Manhattan criminal court.

The jury heard the stabbing happened as Glover was walking to his maintenance job in Manhattan shortly before midnight on August 1, 2017, and Mr Jolly asked him "What's up?" authorities said.

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"Ladies and gentlemen, this is New York City. It's 12 o'clock at night. Who's saying 'What's up?' to you with good intentions?" Glover's lawyer, Scottie Celestin, told the jury.

"His fear for his life was reasonable."

Mr Celestin also said Mr Jolly died from a dose of the sedative benzodiazepine that was given to him at a hospital, not the stab wounds.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Dahl told the jury Glover confessed to police and did not stab Mr Jolly in self-defence, but rather in anger because he thought Mr Jolly was hitting on him.

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"The defendant confessed to pulling out a kitchen knife and repeatedly thrusting it into the body of a stranger on the street, killing him," Mr Dahl said.

"Was there anything that would prevent him from simply running away from Mr Jolly? No."

In a taped interview to police, Glover said he felt "a little nervous" when Mr Jolly approached him.

"To tell the truth, I thought he was gay and because I thought he was gay, and he was saying that to me, "What’s up," I was thinking that he was thinking I was gay."

He added: "I tried to back up a little bit, and he moved forward, and then I just took the knife and stabbed him … I wish I never would have seen him. It’s all my fault, because I chose to stab him. I have to take responsibility for that."

Mr Dahl told jurors that Glover had taken Jolly's life "in cold blood."

Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five is best known for their 1982 rap song, The Message. The group formed in the late 1970s in the Bronx. They became the first rap act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, a ceremony led by Jay Z.

The rapper Kidd Creole is not connected to the US group Kid Creole and the Coconuts.

The musician is due to be sentenced next month.