G. Dep Pleads Not Guilty To Murder Charges

Former Bad Boy rapper G. Dep has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges stemming from his stunning admission last month that he shot and killed someone 17 years ago in New York City.

The onetime Diddy protégé has been in police custody since he walked into a Harlem precinct last month and confessed to the crime.

G. Dep, now 36, appeared before a judge in a Manhattan courtroom on Thursday. A not-guilty plea is not unusual in cases where the defendant has confessed. According to his lawyer, Anthony L. Ricco, who spoke with The Associated Press following the hearing, the plea allows for parties on both sides – prosecutors and defense attorney Ricco – to wade through evidence and statements, while also allowing time for a possible plea deal to be reached, though he didn't specify if that was a likelihood in his client's case.

In mid-December, G. Dep, whose hits include "Let's Get It," shocked the hip-hop community when he walked into a police precinct and reportedly told officers, "I shot and killed someone 17 years ago." Days later, it was reported that the shooting victim in fact had died, which G. Dep claimed he wasn't sure of, despite saying he killed someone in his confession.

"I was surprised – for some reason, I really didn't think that he died," the rapper told the New York Post. "When they told me, I was like, 'Oh, I'm not going home after this.' "

G. Dep has since retained a new legal team. However, it is expected that G. Dep will spend considerable time behind bars.

"I get the sense that he's relieved," Ricco said. "We have some people who say, 'Well, he was stupid for confessing.' On the other hand, there are a lot of people in life who say it's the first step toward redemption."