August 1, 2013 Newport News Virginia – Newport News Police say a local rapper’s song helped link him to a cold case involving a double homicide in 2007.
On May 10, 2007, officers were dispatched to the 23rd Street and Orcutt Avenue area for reports of shots fired. While en route, the call was upgraded to a shooting after a victim was found lying on a front porch in the 2300 block of Orcutt Avenue.
That victim, identified as Brian Dean, suffered a gunshot wound to the head. Dean was unconscious but breathing and was taken to a local hospital. He was later taken off life support.
A second victim, identified as Christopher Horton, was found suffering from a gunshot wound to the torso behind the home. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The case eventually went cold.
“The pain never goes away,” said Horton’s sister Tai Horton. “It’s hard. You try not to think about it and let time heal it.”
Four years later, the case was assigned to another detective with the Newport News Police Department. According to court documents obtained by WAVY.com , three men were identified as possible suspects.
The detective said witnesses told police Horton and one of the suspects, Antwain Steward, fought prior to the homicides. Two other witnesses came forward and told the detective a rap song had been produced by Steward, also known as “Twain Gotti,” referencing the slayings.
That track titled “Ride Out” was found on the internet and contains words investigators believe are about the killings, the detective said:
“Listen, walk to your boy and I approached him, 12 midnight on his traphouse porch and everybody saw when I [expletive] smoked him, roped him, sharpened up the shank then I poked him, 357 Smith & Wesson [unintelligible] scoped him, roped him, had me crackin up so I joked him, it’s betweezy six feet ova, told ya [expletive] with my money I’ll roast ya.”
The song was posted to MySpace in March of 2009. Warning: the song contains lyrics that may be offensive to some.
According to court documents , Steward used various electronic devices to produce several rap songs, which have been posted around the internet and social media. Detectives say Steward raps about and does interviews were he references and brags about crimes and feuds with gangs.
“Who puts something in a song that they did like that,” Horton asked? “It’s crazy. That’s what I think. Why would he do that?”
Detectives believe the 2007 homicides were gang related. According to court documents, Steward along with two other suspects were involved in a street gang called Wickzoo in 2007. That gang is now called MOR3SH3LLZ, and detectives say Steward is suspected to be its leader.
Additionally, detectives said Horton was part of the street gang called Dump Squad in Newport News.
July 8, 2013, warrants were issued for Steward’s arrest in connection to the double homicide. He was arrested the next day.
Three days later, detectives said Steward used another inmate’s number to call his girlfriend. The girlfriend told Steward his mother wanted to send someone to clear or clean his computer, court documents said.
The documents also state another man contacted an unknown male and asked who was going to get the computer from Steward’s mother’s house and get the music out.
Due to the evidence, a search warrant was issued more than one home and several computers, cell phones and other electronic items were seized.
“He’s basically a murderer in my eyes,” Horton said. “[A conviction] will help. It won’t bring my brother back, but it will give some closure that we need right now.”
- Rap lyrics crack 6-year-old cold case (wavy.com)
- Rap lyrics lead to arrest in unsolved Va. murder (usnews.nbcnews.com)
- Rapper’s Lyrics Lead To His Own Arrest In Double Homicide Case (mediaanarchist.wordpress.com)