St. Louis rapper found not guilty of murder after claiming self-defense in 2022 road-rage shootout

Jan 26, 2024, 11:24 AM

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A jury found a St. Louis rapper not guilty of murder after the 19-year-old claimed he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed the driver of the Jeep that was following him on his minibike.

CTS Luh Wick, whose legal name is Michael Henderson, was acquitted of first-degree murder and armed criminal action Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Henderson told the jury that he and his friends were riding their minibikes on Aug. 26, 2022, when a Jeep going in the opposite direction made a U-turn. After the Jeep pulled alongside them and engaged them, Henderson said he saw a gun and heard gunshots. Henderson responded by drawing his own weapon, striking and killing the 42-year-old driver, Joseph Raymond Shaw.

Police located a revolver with eight spent shell casings in the Jeep, and authorities determined that Shaw was high on meth when he was killed.

Prosecutors tried to discount the portrayal of Henderson as an innocent kid, referencing his rap lyrics that describe guns and violence and suggesting his recklessness led to a deadly game of chicken. They showed video of the incident to demonstrate how quickly Henderson pulled a gun and said he ran from the scene because he was guilty.

The jury deliberated for two hours before acquitting Henderson of murder.

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St. Louis rapper found not guilty of murder after claiming self-defense in 2022 road-rage shootout