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Plot To Kill Rapper During SxSW Performance Foiled By Austin Police

Two men allegedly plotted to kill a rapper performing at a show last week during Austin’s South by Southwest Music Festival.

The alleged hit would have taken place at a March 10 show unaffiliated with the festival, according to an affidavit obtained by Fox 7 Austin.

Many shows take place in Austin during SXSW that are not part of the actual festival, as promoters and performers hope to siphon off some of the huge crowds that are in town. The SXSW festival ends today.

The alleged murder plan was foiled by Austin police when they found a man at a Sixth Street club with an unregistered handgun. That man, 38-year-old Pierre Laday Jones, voluntarily told police that he knew two people who were planning to kill someone on March 10, Fox 7 Austin reports. The target was not identified, but was allegedly set to testify in court.

Jones and an associate, 39-year-old Don Lee Bennett, were arrested and each charged with a third-degree felony of possession of a firearm by a felon. Jones is also charged with harassment, a Class B misdemeanor.

A third man was also named in the affidavit, but has not yet been charged with anything, according to Fox 7 Austin.

According to Jones’ account of the plot in the affidavit, Bennett and the third man were allegedly going to attend a rap show in downtown Austin near East Sixth Street. Jones allegedly had SXSW VIP credentials to get into the show without being searched for concealed weapons.

SXSW confirmed to Fox 7 Austin that there are no such things as VIP credentials, and SXSW badges would not grant access to a non-festival performance.

Jones told police that the men were allegedly going to pay him $450 to deliver the handgun to them at the concert.

Austin police initially wanted Jones to set up a meeting with Bennett, but Jones warned them that he and the third man would likely “shoot at officers.” Jones told police that the men were in possession of at least six firearms, including an AK-47, Fox 7 Austin reports.

SWAT officers were ultimately the ones who apprehended Bennett at a Sixth Street club. Because he was found with a handgun, and he had a previous felony conviction for aggravated robbery, he was arrested for unlawful possession, according to the affidavit.

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