At a hearing last month where he was granted parole from state prison, rapper J-Dee of Da Lench Mob admitted to playing an ancillary role in the 1993 murder he was convicted of committing, according to a transcript of the hearing obtained by The Plug Up.
At the hearing at Chuckawalla State Prison, J-Dee discussed his early life in a Crip neighborhood, relationships, career, and how he came to accept responsibility for the crime.
But J-Dee denied what prosecutors contended at his murder trial 25 years ago, that he shot and killed Scott “Pearl” Charles, 23, during a fight in Inglewood. J-Dee told the board he was still responsible for the murder because he had set the homicide into motion.
“I do accept responsibility because I brought everyone to that drama that night, every person involved in that from the very first scuffle,” J-Dee said. “I even picked two people up who was not part of the original scuffle, brought them back to the location…I am responsible for everything that took place that night.”
J-Dee also admitted he was mad at Charles for telling J-Dee’s girlfriend about his infidelity. J-Dee said one of Charles’s friends would make a point of attending his concerts in the Los Angeles area so he could report back to the girlfriend if J-Dee cheated. “I let them know that night; if she’s not worried about it, why are you worried about my business,” J-Dee said.
In granting parole, board commissioners noted J-Dee had cried during his apology and appeared sincere. “You were remorseful and appropriately emotional when you discussed the harm you caused to your victims,” presiding commissioner David Long said. He added, “Ultimately, the panel felt that you’ve demonstrated a lengthy period of positive rehabilitation, which is a standard for suitability under the law.”
Despite the parole board’s decision, J-Dee is still in prison for now. A second committee needs to approve his release, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom also has the power to reject it. J-Dee was sentenced to 29 years to life and has been in custody since 1993.
The night of the murder, J-Dee said he first got into it with a friend of Charles’s named Dion, and that another person present said, “F— that n—a, he’s a rapper,” in reference to J-Dee. It led to a physical altercation, which eventually escalated into the shooting, he said.
Members of Charles’s family spoke at the hearing, asking for parole to be denied. But several of them said they didn’t hate J-Dee and prayed for him. “It hurts, still hurts, so bad…Scott now has five grandchildren,” Charles’s former partner said. “They will never know him. They will never lay eyes on him…You not only murdered Scott, you murdered his present, and you murdered his future.”
J-Dee said he still feels guilty about the shooting at one point in the hearing, telling the parole board his own father was murdered when he was a boy in a still-unsolved case. “I can’t even describe the shame for something so trivial being the reason that these kids have to grow up without a father,” he said.
He admitted to “affiliation” with Crips in the Compton neighborhood where he grew up but said he distanced himself from the gang after his dad was murdered in the 1980s. He said in 2013, his attitude about life changed after his wife and daughter visited him.
“They told me…that I needed to make a decision today,” J-Dee said. “Was I going to spend my life in prison, trying to use cellphones, breaking rules, or was I going to do everything in my power to bring myself home to my family and children? It was a very powerful visit. Needless to say, I chose my family over spending the rest of my life in prison.”
Written by Nate Gartrell