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Alleged rap concert murder plot foiled

Two men allegedly planned to kill a performer at a venue in Austin, Texas, to prevent him testifying in a court case

By James Hanley on 18 Mar 2024

Austin, Texas


image © Adriano Aurelio Araujo

The arrests of two men has uncovered an alleged plot to murder a rapper at a gig in Austin, Texas, during South By Southwest (SXSW).

Don Lee Bennett, 39, and Pierre Laday Jones, 38, were both arrested for possession of a firearm by a felon, with Jones also facing an additional charge of harassment. A third man was also named in court documents obtained by Fox 7, but is yet to be arrested.

CBS Austin reports Jones was found with a handgun during a traffic stop on 9 March. Following his arrest, Jones  claimed to police that two of his associates – including Bennett – were planning to kill a performer that night at a show in East Sixth Street to prevent him from testifying in a court case.

“This was not a SXSW concert and there is no such thing as a VIP festival pass”

Jones alleged he was going to provide Bennett and the other man with his SXSW VIP pass to help sneak weapons into the venue, claiming he could obtain credentials due to his podcasting work. However, SXSW, which ran from 8-16 March, says there is no such thing as SXSW VIP credentials and stressed the concert was unaffiliated with the US festival.

“This was not a SXSW concert and there is no such thing as a VIP festival pass,” says an email sent to CBS.

According to the affidavit, police set up surveillance, leading Bennett to be intercepted by a SWAT team near the club on 10 March, when he was found to be in possession of a handgun and taken into custody.

 


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