Law enforcement is reportedly exploring a possible connection between the death of an aspiring rapper whose body was discovered at a California beach last week and that of Pop Smoke.
The body of Javonnta Murphy was found inside of a 55-gallon barrel at Malibu Lagoon State Beach on July 31. The 32-year-old suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was stripped of his clothing before being placed in the container and thrown into the water.
The barrel was first found floating near the Pacific Coast Highway bridge by a beach maintenance employee who was unable to bring it ashore. A lifeguard later swam out to it and made the gruesome discovery. Javonnta’s death has since been ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
Today (Aug. 6), TMZ was the first to report that there may be a link between the deaths of Javonnta and Pop Smoke. According to the outlet, the young man is the brother of Jaquan Murphy, one of the five men initially suspected of being involved in the “Welcome To The Party” artist’s death.
The 20-year-old was shot three times inside the Hollywood Hills residence that he was renting in February 2020. Corey Walker, 19, Keandre Rodgers, 18, and two juveniles, then ages 15 and 17, were charged in connection with the fatal home invasion. Jaquan, 21, was held in the county jail on an unrelated attempted murder charge.
In May, the younger of the juveniles confessed to shooting and robbing the New York lyricist. The now-18-year-old was previously charged with first-degree murder for the fatal shooting. He is expected to remain behind bars until the age of 25, according to the Los Angeles Times. The other teen suspect was the first to admit his wrongdoing. He was sentenced to four years in a juvenile treatment facility in April.
At the time of his death, Pop Smoke was dominating the drill rap scene and heralded as New York’s next big act. Months after his passing, his debut album, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon, reached the top spot on the Billboard 200 Chart.
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