New Haven Hip Hop Artist Found Guilty of 2014 Hamden Murder

A popular New Haven hip hop artist was found guilty of killing a Hamden man in his apartment on Circular Avenue in 2014.

Police and the U.S. Marshals arrested 38-year-old Nicholas Papantoniou, also known by his stage name "Nickel P," was found guilty of murder, first degree burlary with a deadly weapon and criminal possession of a firearm.

Papantoniou is accused of shooting and killing 56-year-old Larry Dildy on Oct. 19.

Police said Papantoniou and William Coutermash, 33, knocked on the door of Dildy's second-floor apartment that October afternoon and got into a fight during which Dildy was shot.

Members of the U.S. Marshal Service Connecticut Violent Fugitive Task Force, along with Bridgeport and Stratford officers, arrested Papantoniou after a month-long investigation in an attempt to track him down.

Coutermash was charged with felony murder after the shooting, although authorities consider him a conspirator and said Papantoniou is suspected of pulling the trigger.

Residents familiar with the city's music scene say Papantoniou is a hip-hop performer who has played concerts in the area for years.

"Nickel P's" public Facebook page says his "music and lyrics are the perfect example of art imitating life" and promotes his performances, including some at popular New Haven music venue Toad's Place.

His sentencing is scheduled for May 26. It was not clear if he had an attorney. 

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