The Murderer Left No Evidence, Except for In Those Rap Lyrics...

Christina Drill
March 27, 2014

Tricky legal situation!

In 2007, a sixteen-year-old boy and a twenty-year-old man were shot and killed in Newport News, Virginia, but detectives were struggling to find evidence that incriminated someone. The detectives could find no suspects, no witnesses, and no sign of the murder weapon. The unsolved case was forgotten about for four years.

A new detective assigned to the case stumbled upon some interesting evidence-- a YouTube video posted in August of last year of a local rapper, Antwain Steward AKA "Twain Gotti." The music video is for a song called "Ride Out" and features another local rapper by the name of Mr. Baker. The lyrics:

“But nobody saw when I [expletive] smoked him, roped him, sharpened up the shank, then I poked him, 357 Smith & Wesson beam scoped him.” These lyrics allude to the 2007 murders and are now being used as evidence against Steward. In July, Steward was charged with double homicide, but denies any and all involvement in the crime.

In the last two years there have been over thirty prosecutions in which rap lyrics have played an important role. There is legal debate, obviously, since many rappers' lyrics and personas are deliberately fictionalized or exaggerated.

What's more is that Steward's lyrics do not exactly correspond perfectly to the details of the crime-- no knife was involved in the crime, and the song mentions only one murder. In addition, the casings found at the scene were from a different gun that was cited in Steward's lyrics.

“I speak for the people who come from a bad place, you feel me. It’s not about me. It’s about where I’m from," Steward said in a statement released from jail, explaining that lyrics should not be taken literally at all.

Steward is set to be tried in May for double homicide.

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