3 charged in death of NYC rapper

August 20, 2011 2:25:49 PM PDT
Three people have been charged in the slaying of a fledgling New York City rapper whose burned and bullet-riddled body was found earlier this week in an SUV parked on a northern New Jersey street.

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli says 30-year-old Randy Manning of Brooklyn faces felony murder and numerous other charges in the death of Rhian H. Stoute, a 33-year-old Brooklyn resident who performed under the name Kampane.

Bail was set at $2 million, and Manning was being held Saturday at the county jail. He's also charged with murder, burglary, arson, witness tampering, desecration of human remains and a weapons offense.

Manning's girlfriend, Natuchka Etienne of Brooklyn, and his friend, Delroy E. Clarke of Englewood, both 23, were each charged with hindering his apprehension. Clarke allegedly helped Manning flee the scene where the body was found, while Etienne allegedly lied to investigators in an effort to create a false alibi for Manning.

Molinelli said investigators believe Manning shot Stoute multiple times in the head and upper torso while inside a vacant Englewood, N.J. home early Monday night, then set a fire there in a bid to destroy evidence.

It's believed that the shooting stemmed from a dispute over money between the two men, who Molinelli said were acquaintances.

He said the gun used in the slaying has not been recovered, but said the slaying apparently was not connected to Stoute's music career.

Molinelli said Manning and Stoute had spent most of Monday together at stores and malls in northern New Jersey before the pair "unlawfully entered the home" where the slaying occurred. A short time later, Manning fled the scene in Stoute's SUV and returned to Brooklyn.

Manning then drove back to Englewood early Tuesday and, after putting Stoute's charred body inside the SUV's rear cargo area, drove to Paramus and abandoned the vehicle on a local street.

Stoute's body was found later Tuesday morning by Paramus police after a resident reported seeing a suspicious vehicle.

After abandoning the SUV, Stoute tried to destroy some clothing and evidenced before contacting Clarke, Molinelli said. Clarke then picked up Manning and drove him away from the area.

Molinelli said more arrests could be made in the case, including others who may have known of the slaying or helped Manning cover it up. He said investigators seized evidence related to the crime on Friday when they executed search warrants at Manning's home in Brooklyn and his former residence in Englewood, and also at Clarke's home and the home where the slaying allegedly occurred.

Clarke was being held Saturday in the Bergen County jail on $50,000 bail, while Etienne was also there on $10,000 bail.

Authorities did not know if they or Manning had retained attorneys, and all three were due to make their initial court appearances on Monday afternoon.