Rap Promoter Search Ends

Rap music promoter Andre “Mac Minister” Dow was arrested by police in San Francisco after months of police pursuit. Authorities link Dow to a spate of killings but Dow’s attorney says his client is not a murderer.

“Rappers of prominence are getting killed,” Las Vegas homicide Lt. Lewis Roberts said. “We don’t know if it’s over or not.”

Dow was at the center of a complex investigation into murders back to 2004. The rap promoter, who has appeared on several hip-hop recordings, brawled in the melee at the Source Awards show five years ago. His attorney, Eric Safire, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Dow has braggadocio and is a shrewed businessman, but he is not involved in any killings.

Authorities think differently, and indicted Dow in Las Vegas last November on two counts of murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder. Dow was believed to have fled the Bay Area after the indictment and was arrested recently on a federal warrant charging him with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Police have said Dow and a friend killed two men in Las Vegas in May – rapper Anthony “Fat Tone” Watkins and Jermaine “Cowboy” Akins.

The killings were likely in retaliation for the death of underground rapper “Mac Dre,” whose real name is Andre Hicks, authorities claim. Police do not connect the two slain men to the 2004 death of Hicks, but the underground hip-hop community did – particularly Watkins, according to the Chronicle.

According to his arrest warrant, Dow’s friend, aspiring rap promoter Jason Mathis, admitted shooting Watkins and Akins to avenge Hicks.

Dow is also under investigation for the killing of a woman who might have witnessed the shootings. Lee Danae Laursen may have worked as a prostitute for Mathis, police said.

“She was a key witness to the double homicide in Las Vegas,” Fairfield, Calif., Police Sgt. John Dugan told the Chronicle.

Surveillance cameras videotaped Dow, Watkins and Akins walking out of the MGM Grand Hotel / Casino about 80 minutes before the two were shot numerous times with an assault rifle.

Police have said Dow is an investigative lead and that no charges are pursued yet.