A drill rapper who hired a contract killer to settle an online feud with a music producer has been sent to prison for a minimum of 21 years.
On 18th February last year, Bright Akinleye, 22, arranged and planned a promotional rap video which featured various models for one of his artists.
Akinleye had become involved with a group of drill artists from Birmingham called ’23 Drillaz’. Later on, Akinleye would become the manager for one of the rappers who was involved in the video.
Akinleye did not realise that he had inadvertently antagonised associates of 28-year-old Abdoulie Ceesay.
Abdoulie Ceesay will spend at least 21 years behind bars for arranging the contract killing | image credit: Met Police
Ceesay contracted Tashawn Brewster, 31, to murder Akinleye as he directed a music video, with a rapper he managed, in a flat in Euston, north London.
On 18th February, while at the venue, Akinleye was stabbed three times in the thighs with a large hunting knife.
At approximately 22:45hrs Akinleye walked into a hotel on Euston Street in Camden suffering from serious stab injuries.
Officers attended along with the London Ambulance Service, but he was pronounced dead at the location at 23:31hrs.
A post-mortem examination carried out the following day found the cause of death to be a stab wound to the leg.
Homicide detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command launched an investigation.
They established that earlier that day, Akinleye had been part of a group, including Ceesay and Petts, who were filming the promotional video.
Oliver Petts | Image credit: Met Police
The day had started in a studio in Deptford before relocating to a flat in Euston.
At about 22:40hrs, a group of men – one of whom had a large knife – attacked Akinleye inside the flat.
Despite suffering from several stab injuries, Akinleye was able to wrestle the knife away before running to a nearby hotel where he collapsed and died.
Bright Akinleye died after bleeding to death
This knife was found next to him and was later confirmed as having inflicted the fatal injuries. DNA found on the knife linked it to Brewster.
As detectives continued to investigate the night’s events, they found that Akinleye had previously been involved in a feud with several others that included both parties posting messages on social media.
These featured incidents where people were assaulted or taunted.
On the night of the attack, Petts, and Brewster – who was not involved in the video – drove to the Euston area before entering the flat.
A short time later, Akinleye was fatally stabbed.
Detectives quickly identified the people who were inside the flat at the time.
Tashan Brewster stabbed Akinleye three times in the legs with a large hunting knife. He will spend at least 21 years behind bars.
CCTV enquiries allowed officers to track Petts’ Mercedes from south London to Euston, placing him in the area at the time.
The car was found a month later at a breaker’s yard in Kent.
Mobile phone analysis also put the defendants in the location. The investigation discovered that several phone calls had been made to co-ordinate the assault.
Ceesay and Brewster were arrested on Wednesday, 20th February 2019; Petts was arrested a week later.
Detective Inspector Jamie Stevenson, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said:
“Today’s sentencing is the culmination of our investigation into the needless death of another young man.
“Our thoughts remain with Bright’s family as they continue to struggle to come to terms with him being snatched from them.
“This fatal stabbing stemmed from several people being involved in taunting on social media. I still cannot comprehend how it ended in such a violent murder.”