Rapper Kidd Creole – a founding member of legendary hip-hop group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5 – was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Wednesday for stabbing a homeless man to death during an argument in Manhattan.
The 62-year-old hip-hop pioneer, whose real name is Nathaniel Glover, was found guilty of manslaughter in April 2017 for killing John Jolly, a 55-year-old tramp.
“A life is a life whether the person is homeless or whether the person is a CEO,” Manhattan Superior Court Justice Michele Rodney said at the sentencing hearing. “In a matter of seconds… Mr. Jolly’s life was changed forever.”
She said the defense’s argument that Glover acted in self-defense because Jolly was a sex offender was moot.
“You didn’t know him,” she said to Glover. “You didn’t know he had one [history of] violence or was a sex offender. These things were not known and do not have much relevance to anyone’s actions in this case.”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer – whose band produced chart-topping “Freedom” and “The Message” in the early 1980s – was facing up to 25 years in prison.
Wearing a gray suit with his hair in a ponytail, Glover looked stoic as Rodney announced the verdict. He claimed he was wrongly cast as a murderer.
“I am very disappointed with how this whole situation has turned out. I was portrayed as callous and pointless [killer]… which is far from who I am,” he said in court.
“I was slandered and it all made me seem like a person who actually has no regrets and no regrets.”
Glover said he was “disappointed” with the way the trial went, adding, “I also feel like at some point the truth about all of this will be revealed and I will be exonerated.”
He then thanked the prosecutor before exiting the courtroom.
But Cheryl Horry, a cousin of Jolly, said the disgraced rap star deserved a harsher punishment for showing no remorse.
“I don’t agree with that sentence at all. He should have got the maximum out of it. He should have gotten 25 because he seems like a heartless punk right now. He didn’t apologize to anyone,” Horry said outside the courtroom.
“All he was worried about was his image, that’s all he talked about the whole time — his image, how it made him look,” she said. “I’m very angry. I’m very angry.”
In August 2017, Glover got into a shouting match with Jolly on the corner of East 44th St. and Third Avenue before the stabbing took place, police said after his arrest.
Prosecutors later said Glover stabbed Jolly to death because he thought the homeless man was going to hit him.
On Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Mark Dahl moved to sentence Glover to 18 years in prison.
“The defendant committed a senseless and unwarranted act of violence that claimed the lives of one of the city’s most vulnerable populations — the homeless,” Dahl said.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg added the case is an example of how his office tackles violent crime.
“Mr. Jolly’s death was devastating to his family and those who knew him,” Bragg said in a statement after the sentencing. “This case makes it clear that when you commit a Violent crimes, we will hold you accountable.”
After the sentencing, Glover’s attorney Scottie Celestin criticized the judge’s handling of the case and said he planned to appeal.
“I am fully convinced that this case will come back on appeal,” he said in court.
“I think how the judge handled this case… I think she ran the case, and it’s going to come back,” he added, without elaborating.
During the trial, Glover’s attorney, Scottie Celestin, claimed he acted in self-defense and that Jolly’s stab wounds were not life-threatening.
Celestin previously blamed Jolly’s death on a mixture of alcohol and a sedative that Bellevue Hospital staff gave him because he was combative.