Man sentenced to death for killing rapper denied new trial


A Lancaster County judge has denied a new trial for a man convicted of killing a hip-hop artist after a 2010 show in Columbia.

Jakeem Towles, 29, claimed his “ineffective” lawyers caused his first-degree murder conviction and death sentence in the killing of 20-year-old Cornell “Young E-Z” Stewart.

Towles was ejected from a club on North Fourth Street for causing a fight. Prosecutors said he came back with a gun and shot Stewart in the head when he fired on a group of people outside the show.

Among the arguments in his request for relief, Towles claimed he should have been allowed to testify at his trial.

Judge Howard Knisely rejected that claim and others. He said Towles could have testified, but it’s likely he would not have been found credible.

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