Kidd Creole has been found guilty of first-degree manslaughter after stabbing a homeless man to death over four years ago.
On Wednesday, a Manhattan jury announced its verdict mere hours after lawyers on both sides presented their closing arguments. Kidd Creole – real name Nathaniel Glover – first gained fame in the early 1980s as an original member of seminal hip hop collective Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
After living a quieter life away from music, it was in 2017 that he gained wider infamy when he encountered John Jolly, a homeless man, on a Manhattan street. While on his way to work, Glover stabbed Jolly, who died from his injuries at hospital shortly after. Glover was arrested the very next day and charged with second-degree murder.
According to a videotaped interview with police following the incident, Glover claimed he grew frustrated after thinking that Jolly wanted to pick him up. “To tell the truth, I thought he was gay and because I thought he was gay, and he was saying that to me, ‘what’s up,’ I was thinking that he was thinking [that] I was gay,” Glover said back then. “So I was a little annoyed by that.”
“He approached me. I got a little nervous,” Glover claimed. So then I tried to back up a little bit, and he moved forward, and then I just took the knife and stabbed him … I wish I never would have seen him. It’s all my fault, because I chose to stab him. I have to take responsibility for that.”
In Glover’s trial, prosecutors insisted that he had no reason to fear Jolly, let alone kill him. They alleged that Glover’s actions might have been the result of his own homophobia. Glover’s team, conversely, claimed that their client stabbed Jolly out of fear. They further argued that Jolly, who was intoxicated, died from the combination of alcohol and a sedative administered at the hospital.
According to Glover’s lawyer, Scottie Celestin, both the police and prosecutors acted hastily in deciding Glover was guilty. “They did the perp walk. They paraded him in front of the camera,” and then, “That’s it.” “The devil is in the details,” Celestin said, arguing that medical records provided years after Jolly’s death didn’t support the claim that he died from stab wounds.
According to Celestin, prosecutors thus “doubled down because no one is going to say they made a mistake.” “It’s human nature. They are human, doing self-preservation … It’s hard to say that you made a mistake — especially in this type of case where they already paraded Mr. Glover before the media,” Celestin said.
Glover’s lawyer also questioned the motive: did his client have any motive to kill or seriously harm Jolly? “You don’t have to go any further than Mr. Glover’s own statements. “He repeatedly says, ‘I didn’t want to hurt him. I just didn’t want him to hurt me. Look at the video. He’s being honest. He’s being truthful.”
Prosecutor Mark Dahl contended in his closing arguments that Celestin’s statements were simply an example of “hiding what’s so obviously true” – that Glover killed Jolly in a senseless act of violence. “All of the evidence proves that Glover killed Jolly “in cold blood,” Dahl said.
Glover will face sentencing on May 4th. He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison.