Rapper Kidd Creole — a founding member of the legendary hip-hop group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5 — was sentenced Wednesday to 16 years behind bars for the stabbing death of a homeless man during a dispute in Manhattan.
The 61-year-old hip-hop pioneer, whose real name is Nathaniel Glover, was found guilty of manslaughter in April for the 2017 for killing John Jolly, a 55-year-old vagrant.
“A life is a life, whether the person is homeless, whether the person is a CEO,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Michele Rodney said at the sentencing. “Within seconds … Mr. Jolly’s life was changed forever.”
She said the defense’s argument that Glover had acted in self-defense because Jolly was a sex offender fell flat.
“You didn’t know him,” she told Glover. “You didn’t know that he had a [history of] violence or was a sexual offender. Those things were not known and don’t have much relevance in terms of anybody’s action in this case.”
Wearing a gray suit with his hair pulled into a ponytail, Glover looked stoic as Rodney handed down the sentencing. He claimed he’d been wrongly cast as a killer.
“I’m very disappointed in the way that this whole situation played out. I’ve been portrayed as a callous and senseless [killer]… which is far from the person who I am,” he said in court.
“I’ve been slandered and all this made me seem as if I am a person who actually has no remorse and no repentance.”
Glover said he was “disappointed” in the way the proceedings progressed, adding, “I also feel that at a certain point the truth of all of this will be revealed and I will be exonerated.”
He then thanked the prosecutor before leaving the courtroom.
But Cheryl Horry, a cousin of Jolly, said the disgraced rap star deserved a harsher punishment because he has shown no remorse.
“I don’t agree with the sentence at all. He should have gotten the max. He should’ve got 25 years because he seems like a heartless punk right now. He didn’t say sorry to no one,” 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 am very upset. 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 because he thought the homeless man was hitting on him.
On Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Mark Dahl asked that Glover be sentenced to 18 years in prison.
“The defendant had committed a senseless and unwarranted act of violence that took the life of one of the city’s most vulnerable populations — the homeless,” Dahl said.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg added that the case was an example of his office cracking down on 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 clear that if you commit a violent crime, we will hold you accountable.”
After the sentencing, Glover’s lawyer Scottie Celestin criticized the judge’s handling of the case and said he planned to appeal.
“I’m fully confident this case is going to come back on appeal,” he said outside court.
“I think how the judge handled this case….I think she steered the case and it’s going to come back,” he added without elaborating.
During the trial, Glover’s lawyer 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 mix of alcohol and a sedative that workers at Bellevue Hospital gave to him because he was being combative.