Killer of Brooklyn rapper Mook Mula sentenced to 15 years to life in prison

An East Flatbush man has been sentenced to 15 years to life in the 2017 killing of an up-and-coming Brooklyn rapper.
Photo courtesy of Ekaterina Bolovtsova/Pexels

An East Flatbush man was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison Wednesday for the 2017 murder of up-and-coming Brooklyn rapper Mook Mula.

James Oliver, 44, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in April to the killing of his associate Darnell Pettway, whom he shot multiple times in the chest after Pettway did not stick up for him during a fight.

“This was a tragic and senseless shooting of a man who had his life and budding musical career tragically cut short,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez of Pettway, who performed under the name Mook Mula. “Brooklyn is safer with this defendant behind bars, and today’s sentence sends a strong message that gun violence in our neighborhoods will be met with serious consequences.”

mook mula
At the time of his murder, Mook Mula was described as an “steadily rising” up-and-comer. Photo courtesy of Mook Mula SoundCloud

On the night that Pettway was killed, he and Oliver had been drinking and gambling with a group of men inside the lobby of a building on East 92nd Street in East Flatbush.

According to the prosecutors, Oliver got into a fight with another individual over a stolen cellphone and “became enraged” when Pettway did not intervene on his behalf. He then went to his apartment at on 93rd Street, where he was seen on video surveillance putting a gun into his waistband.

Oliver returned to the East 92nd Street building where he opened fire on Pettway, hitting him several times in the chest. Pettway was later pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital. The Pettway family said in 2017 that Oliver had shot Mook in a “jealous rage” and that the shooting occurred in the lobby of Pettway’s apartment building.

The perp fled to Pennsylvania after the killing, where he was picked up by cops on Jan. 1, 2019, in Upper Saucon Township, for an unrelated incident.

At the time of his death five years ago, Mook Mula was described as a “steadily rising figure in NYC” who had performed at “some of the biggest club events in the city.”