EXCLUSIVE: Bergen County investigators went by the book in getting a confession from ex-con Randy K. Manning to killing rapper Kampane, burning his body and leaving it in an SUV on a Paramus side street, a judge in Hackensack has ruled, clearing the way for his murder trial to begin.
In denying a bid to throw out the confession, Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejian said that Manning “voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently” signed a Miranda waiver not once, but twice — and was already familiar with the process from a 2004 arrest.
Investigators said Manning confessed to shooting rapper Rhian Stoute in an empty Englewood house after a shopping trip to Paramus in August, 2011. They said he then fire to the body in an attempt to destroy the evidence, returned to the house the next day and moved the body to a Paramus cul-de-sac.
Public defender Tana McPherson argued that the detectives never told Manning that he was a suspect in Kampane’s killing, and that their tactics were “invasive, intimidating and coercive.”
Detective Robert Anzilotti, the chief investigator in the case, touched Manning, got excessively close and aggressively questioned him during a 20-hour interrogation, she contended.
McPherson also claimed that Manning was told that both he and his girlfriend, Natuchka Etienne, would be arrested and charged if he didn’t help solve the crime.
Etienne, who police said helped Manning move Stoute’s body a day after the murder, was later charged.
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer countered that Manning’s statements were entirely voluntary. Even though the interrogations took place over two days, she said, the actual questioning was roughly 10 hours, during which he was given breaks, food and refreshments.
Manning is even seen “laughing and joking” on the interrogation video, she said.
Jerejian pointed to the video, as well, noting that Manning is seen signing the forms and answering “yes” to a number of questions, once on August 19, 2011 and again the next day. The forms included the statement “No promises or threats have been made to me, and no pressure or coercion of any kind has been used against me.”
Waiving the right to remain silent, “is not dependent on a person being informed that he is a suspect in a particular criminal investigation,” the judge emphasized.
What’s more, he said, the tactics used by the prosecutor’s investigators were well within legal bounds.
Manning never objected nor seemed confused about the process, said Jerejian ( photo, below ), who watched all of the footage. The fact that detectives “aggressively told him that they believed he was lying, and continually confronted him with allegations his story was unbelievable . . . simply does not rise to the level of police coercion or police deception,” he said.
There was no evidence of a threat against Etienne, either, Jerejian ruled.
Manning is due in court again on July 15, when Presiding Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi will set a trial date.
Manning, a national of Trinidad and Tobago who used to live on Belmont Street in Englewood before moving to Brooklyn, faces a long list of charges, beginning with first-degree murder. He continues to be held on more than $2 million bail in the Bergen County Jail.
Prosecutors said the murder arose from a dispute over money.
Manning lured Stoute to a vacant house on Tryon Avenue in Englewood after hitting malls in Paramus and stores elsewhere, they said.
Sometime after they broke in, Manning shot Stoute with a .40-caliber handgun several times in the head and chest, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time. Manning then set a fire to try and destroy the evidence, he said.
As CLIFFVIEW PILOT reported exclusively, Stoute was shot once in the head, once in the neck and once in the shoulder.
Molinelli said Manning took off in Stoute’s black 2001 Chevy Tahoe after the killing, heading to Brooklyn. He returned to the murder scene the next day, “removed the charred body of Rhian Stoute from the house and placed it into the rear cargo” of the vehicle, the prosecutor said.
He then drove it to Paramus, where he “randomly selected” Village Circle West and abandoned the SUV there, he said.
As he ran from the Tahoe, Manning tossed clothing and other evidence, Molinelli said. Walking up to Route 4 and Forest Avenue, he called and was picked up by a friend, Delray Clarke, of Belmont Street in Englewood, the prosecutor said.
A neighbor called Paramus police just before 8 that morning to report a suspicious vehicle with New York license plates on the block. Looking through its windows, the responding officers could see Kampane’s body.
An autopsy by the Bergen County Medical Examiner determined that he succumbed to “multiple gunshot wounds” before his body was torched.
An 18-count indictment returned by a Bergen County grand jury in June 2011 names Manning, Clarke and Etienne – who lived with him in Brooklyn and “tried to create a false alibi” for him, Molinelli said.
Altogether, Manning is accused of murder, felony murder, arson, possession of a hangun with the intent to cause bodily harm or death, desecration of human remains, breaking into a house owned by Sulanch Lewis, moving the body, concealing evidence, giving police false information and stealing Stoute’s SUV.
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CLIFFVIEW PILOT BROKE THE STORIES:
- Kampane’s accused killer claims Miranda rights violation: A judge in Hackensack is expected to rule on whether the man accused of murdering rapper Kampane, burning his body and then leaving it in a car on a Paramus side street was properly read his rights before being questioned by police. READ MORE…
- Arrests in murder of rapper Kampane: An ex-con shot the rapper Kampane in the head in a vacant Englewood house, torched the place, then went back to the scene the next day, removed the charred body and left it in the rear cargo of the victim’s SUV on a quiet Paramus street, say authorities who arrested him and two accused accomplices. READ MORE….
- Autopsy confirms rapper Kampane shot before body burned: T he rapper Kampane was shot in the head and killed, then torched in a vacant Englewood apartment, by a former city resident who later went back to the scene, removed the charred body and left it in the rear cargo of the victim’s SUV on a Paramus street, say authorities who arrested him and two accused accomplices. READ MORE….
- Burned body of rapper Kampane found in car in Paramus: The man whose burned body was found in the cargo area of an SUV on a quiet Paramus street this morning has been identified as Brooklyn rapper Kampane. In a tragic irony, the hip-hop artist’s revamped website opens with the sound of a police siren. READ MORE….
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Born in Brooklyn, raised in Flatbush, Stoute was related to the producer J Runnah, who has worked with Jay Z, among others.
“It’s all about the game and how you play your cards,” Stoute sang, touting the joys of living and enjoying the rewards of his new-found fame.
He released his first mix tape in 1997, then went on tour in 2000 with J Runnah and Roc-a-Fella, learning the music business, according to his website, iamkampane.com.
He was in the middle of a major promotional push behind his new music video, “What You Drinkin’ On,” a playful tune, complete with one-liners and wordplay about champagne and other spirits. “This is Part One / I’m tryin’ to get to Part Two,” he sings. “Let’s get it on.”
Stoute would have turned 34 two weeks after he was murdered.
STORY / COURTROOM PHOTOSS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
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