Aspiring Rapper on Trial for Threats Through Lyrics
An aspiring rapper from St. Louis, Mo. is on trial for writing a threatening note detailing a "murderous rampage" similar to the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, however he claims the words were just a part of his rap lyrics.
Twenty-six-year-old Olutosin Oduwole, who has plead not guilty and faces 15 years in prison if convicted of the threat-related offense, went to trial beginning Tuesday (Oct. 18) for writing found on a note inside his vehicle on a Southern Illinois University campus in Edwardsville, Ill. in July 2007. At the time the note was discovered, Oduwole's car was being impounded.
While he states the personal writings were just a reflection of his lyrical thoughts, authorities feel the note, plus a gun found in his possession in addition to online firearms purchases, were the beginnings of a plan to carry out a Virgina Tech-like disaster.
"The evidence is still there and hasn't disappeared," said Tom Gibbons, Madison County's top prosecutor. "It's not a case where the duration of time has been an impediment to our ability to prove the case."
Investigators reveal the note included demands that money be sent to a PayPal account. The threats stated, "if this account doesn't reach $50,000 in the next 7 days then a murderous rampage similar to the VT shooting will occur at another highly populated university. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!"
"I still contend there was not a note that was written," Oduwole has said. "Rap lyrics are not a note."
Oduwole apparently represented himself by the rap moniker Tosin Potion on the Internet. In an attempt to gain notoriety online and kick off his rhyming career, he allegedly sold T-shirts emblazoned with the logo "This Is not A Joke!" He claims the slogan was to show people that his music should be taken seriously.