Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Man in court over rapper stabbing

Joshua Ribera was attacked near a Birmingham nightclub

An 18-year-old man has appeared in court charged with killing a teenage rapper who was stabbed after attending a fundraising event for a murder victim's family.

Armani Deniro Mitchell, who is accused of murdering Joshua Ribera outside a nightclub in Birmingham, was remanded in custody during a brief hearing at the city's magistrates' court.

Mitchell, of The Green, Northfield, spoke only to confirm his full name, address and date of birth, and was ordered to reappear at Birmingham Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on Thursday.

Mr Ribera, also aged 18, was stabbed at around 11pm on Friday near TCs nightclub in the Selly Oak area of the city. Another man arrested in connection with Mr Ribera's death has been released on conditional bail pending further inquiries.

Detectives are still keen to hear from anyone who was at TCs on Friday night or who witnessed the stabbing.

Detective Inspector Gary Plant, who is leading the investigation, said: "We know there were a lot of people at the fundraising event on Friday and Joshua was very popular among his friends and was a well-known rising music star. There are still a number of people who were there on Friday who haven't yet spoken to police. I would urge anyone who saw anything to come forward and talk to us as soon as possible."

Mr Plant said a lot of Mr Ribera's friends were at the function and someone may have a vital piece of information about the stabbing.

The rapper, known as Depzman, was stabbed in the heart after an event held to raise money for a headstone for the grave of 16-year-old Kyle Sheehan, who was killed in a knife attack last September.

Mr Ribera, from Moseley, Birmingham, was an emerging talent in the rap and grime scene and a Facebook group, RIP Depzman, has attracted more than 56,000 "likes".

Anyone who can assist the police investigation is urged to call 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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