A rapper who confessed to a cold case murder from nearly two decades ago had no idea his victim had died – but handed himself in anyway.
Trevell Coleman – who was once signed to Diddy’s label – said he owned up after being haunted by the killing and wanted to "get right with God."
But he was stunned when officers told him that the man he shot back in October 1983 had died as a result of his injuries, having spent the last 20 years thinking he was alive and well.
In a frank jailhouse interview Coleman, 36, said his murderous past ‘weighed’ on him and that he went to the police despite the objections of his family.
"I told my mom and my girlfriend that I wanted to confess, and they both told me to leave it in the past," he said.
"My girlfriend is pretty peeved."
Police were initially suspicious when he walked into a station house and said: "I shot and killed someone 17 years ago," but after his tale checked out they had a shock for him too.
"I was surprised – for some reason, I really didn’t think that he died," bald and bearded Coleman said.
"When they told me, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m not going home after this.'’’
Coleman, who once had Diddy rap with him on a song, said at the time of the murder he was a drug addict and didn’t think twice about killing another man.
"That’s just the life I was living back then," he said.
"I started to wonder if all the bad things that happened to me in my life were karma for what I did… you start to think ‘My happiness is because of someone else’s sadness."
"I thought that if I turned myself in, it might give me closure."
His decision means he faces life in jail and separation from Lyvonnia Copeland, 40, the mother of his three children. She declined to comment.
Coleman, who used to record under the name G-Dep, said: "I haven’t been living right.
"I always had people around me that were good people, but I was doing the wrong thing.
"I’m just trying to get right with God. The only thing I regret is that I have to leave my kids."
It was at the age of just 18 when Coleman is said to have fatally shot John Henkel, 32, during a robbery outside a housing project in East Harlem, New York.
In his confession Coleman is said to have told investigators that Henkel resisted and grabbed his 40-caliber gun.
Coleman, who was on his bike, backed off then supposedly shot his victim three times in the chest.
Coleman said he fled and tossed the weapon into the a river whilst Henkel was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Detectives listened to his confession then, when they reviewed the cold-case file, were amazed to discover that it matched up to the evidence.
Coleman, who has racked up more than 25 arrests since 2003 for drugs, burglary and grand larceny, was charged with murder, and is being held without bail.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly described Coleman’s motivations as "uncertain – maybe he had a pang of conscience."
But he added: "We’ll take it any way we can get it."
Coleman was signed in 1998 to a $350,000, five-album deal with Sean Combs’ Bad Boy Records.
His first album, Child Of The Ghetto, was released in 2001.
The song "Let’s Get It" featured Coleman trading rhymes with Combs and fellow Bad Boy artist Black Rob.
His life later fell apart, and whilst battling an addiction to PCP he turned to crime.