(AP) -- A man has been sentenced to life in prison again in the murder of an aspiring rapper authorities said was shot and killed before his body was set on fire in New Jersey a dozen years ago.
Randy Manning was convicted in a June retrial of murder, arson, desecration of human remains, and weapons offenses in the August 2011 death of Rhian Stoute, a 33-year-old Brooklyn man who performed under the name Kampane.
Prosecutors said Manning, a native of Trinidad and Tobago who lived in Englewood for a time, killed the victim in a vacant Englewood house and returned several hours later to set the victim's body on fire. He then put Stoute's body in an SUV he abandoned in Paramus, discarding evidence in sewers there and in Brooklyn, New York, where authorities later recovered it, prosecutors said.
Manning was originally convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2014, but an appellate judge ruled in 2020 that prosecutors hadn't obtained a warrant before searching his cellphone's records and location data, NorthJersey.com reported.
Assistant Prosecutor Gary Donatello said Manning could be seen on surveillance video joking and laughing with a gas station attendant hours after shooting the victim as he picked up a gas canister, a lighter and a pair of gloves — items that would be submitted as evidence during the trial.
"These are the actions of a cold-hearted killer," Donatello said.
Bergen County Judge Gary Wilcox earlier this month called the killing an "abhorrent and horrible act" and said one of the things that stood out was a conversation Manning had with a detective in which he characterized Stoute as only being interested in women and money.
"He didn't sound like he was talking about somebody that he loved. He sounded jealous and angry," the judge said, NorthJersey.com reported.
Defense attorney Milagros Camacho argued for a sentence of only 30 years on the murder charge, saying her client maintains his innocence but that didn't mean he wasn't "remorseful" or "upset" about what happened.
for more features.