Rapper Shyheim Franklin Arrested After New Year's Day Hit-And-Run Death

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Shyheim, left, with Wu Tang Clan leader Method Man in 2004

Hip hop artist Shyheim Franklin, a long-time ally of the Wu-Tang Clan, was reportedly behind the wheel in a New Year’s Day hit-and-run incident that left a 29-year-old bakery worker dead.

The 36-year-old rapper turned himself in to police on Wednesday in connection with the New Brighton accident, according to multiple reports.

Felipe Avila of Tompkinsville was killed in the early morning crash, after Franklin allegedly ran a stoplight.

The rapper is understood to be facing a charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident, a class D felony. At the time of the accident, he was out on $10,000 bail following his April 2013 arrest on gun and drug possession charges.

Franklin, who is a cousin of Ghostface Killah, got into hip hop at a young age. He was just 14 when "On & On" was a moderate hit back in 1993. The single appeared on his debut album, "AKA The Rugged Child," which was released the following year. 

Through his career, he's performed under such monikers as Manchild, Little Shyheim and The Rugged Child and he has worked with the likes of RZA, Tupac Shakur, the Notorious B.I.G. and on numerous occasions, Wu-Tang Clan. Over the past two decades he's accumulated a string of film and TV credits.

Franklin also has a bulging rap sheet that includes serving more than a year in prison back in 2002 for a second-degree attempted robbery conviction. In the 2013 raid on his apartment, police reportedly seized a revolver, five rounds of ammunition, more than 40 files of heroin, Xanax, and drug paraphernalia.


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