Police arrest suspect in rapper murder case
By Dan Morse,
A 29-year-old Silver Spring man was charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of local rap artist Franklin Amobi, as detectives continue to pursue the man who they say pulled the trigger, according to arrest records made public Tuesday.
Dennis Mackabee was arrested Monday on charges related to his alleged role in a Dec. 27 drug deal that turned into a robbery and shooting, according to court records. Mackabee is scheduled to appear in Montgomery County District Court on Wednesday for a bail review hearing.
The five-month-old case has proved a challenge for detectives. Capt. Paul Starks, a Montgomery County police spokesman, appealed for any witnesses to step forward. “It could be the link to pieces of information we already know,” Starks said. A $10,000 reward is being offered.
The arrest affidavit for Mackabee, obtained Monday, lays out part of what detectives know about the shooting that claimed the life of Amobi, 24, who performed as Frank Diggy.
Two days after Christmas, about 6:40 a.m., Mackabee and two others met Amobi in the 11400 block of Stewart Lane in Silver Spring “for the purpose of purchasing crack cocaine from Amobi,” the affidavit said. As Mackabee negotiated the deal, one of his associates pulled out a gun and fired, according to police.
The gunman then chased Amobi across a street, and the victim fell to the ground. At that point, the gunman took something from Amobi’s pants pockets. The three men then drove away, according to court records.
Starks declined to release more details about the case, including whether detectives had obtained arrest warrants for other suspects.
Amobi’s rap videos are widely available on the Internet. In one titled “Get Out the Way,” the first image is a Bible verse — from Chapter 7 of the Gospel of Matthew: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged.”
That transitions to several opening images, including at least five people standing around someone counting out cash in the street. “If you ain’t up on the mission, that’s the end of discussion.”
Below the video are tributes.
“RIP Frank Diggy . . . White Oak’s finest.”
“Free from this krazy world,” says another.
In an interview this year with the Montgomery County Gazette, rapper Chico Kelly, who was featured on “Get Out the Way,” said Amobi had performed throughout the area.
“He didn’t bother nobody. He was a very humble dude. All he wanted to do was get his music out there. That’s what we were working toward,” Kelly told the newspaper.
Amobi was no stranger to the street life.
In 2006, he was charged with selling cocaine, a deal consummated after he pulled up on a black bicycle, according to Montgomery County Circuit Court records.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 21 / 2 years in prison, according to the court records.
In 2009, he was charged with distributing drugs and later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.