Noreaga Testifies At Murder Trial
Noreaga’s most recent performance has been in a Manhattan courtroom, where he testified January 10th in a triple-murder case involving a man who worked as a roadie for him.
The rapper, whose real name is Victor Santiago, testified in the defense of Darryl Henderson, who is accused of committing three drug-related murders in 2002. If convicted, Henderson could be sentenced to death.
Henderson attorney David Patton told the jury his client is innocent and has never belonged to a gang but admitted he’s sold drugs.
Santiago testified he met Henderson in 1998 or ’99 and put him on the payroll as a roadie. The performer also said he made friends with members of Bronx street gang Murder Unit and let them join the road crew to give them a break in the music business. He said he didn’t know the men had violent histories, carried guns and sold drugs.
"Hardcore hip-hop tends to sell more records," Santiago testified. "It’s about selling an image."
Santiago described his life on the road as a wild party where he chased women and sometimes smoked pot before concerts.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Rody said in his opening statements that Henderson and two Murder Unit members committed the grisly murders to steal 30 kilograms of cocaine.
Rody told the jury that two victims were stabbed more than 20 times and all three had their throats cut. The prosecutor said the alleged killers fled to Miami, where the trio was seen "drinking, partying, posing for pictures and spending the money they made from the stolen cocaine" a few days later.
During Rody’s cross-examination of Santiago, the rapper’s memory was reportedly sketchy as to when violence may have erupted around him but he didn’t waver in his claim that Henderson wasn’t involved.