Not-So-Sweet Revenge

Las Vegas police have made an arrest in the May 23 slayings of Kansas City rapper Anthony “Fat Tone” Watkins and his friend Jermaine Aikens (“Tone Death,” July 28). Jason Mathis faces two charges of murder and is scheduled for a hearing in Clark County, Nevada, on October 4.

The warrant that led to Mathis’ arrest supports the widely circulated street rumor that Watkins was killed to avenge the death of California hip-hop artist Andre “Mac Dre” Hicks. A rapper who made frequent appearances in Kansas City, Hicks was gunned down in a drive-by shooting on Bruce Watkins Drive during a visit to Kansas City in November 2004. Kansas City police have yet to make an arrest in his killing; the delay has allowed rumors to fly. Kansas City homicide detective Everett Babcock’s investigation of the Hicks slaying has been stalled by stubborn witnesses, but he is sure that Watkins wasn’t involved. “You never want to say you know everything until the doors are closed, but I’m convinced he did not directly kill Mac Dre,” Babcock tells the Pitch.

That certainty comes too late for Fat Tone. The Las Vegas warrant for Jason Mathis, obtained by the Pitch, indicates that Watkins and Aikens were hit multiple times in the body and head by bullets from a high-powered rifle.

After he was arrested in San Francisco during a fight with his ex-girlfriend, Chanel Rowel, Mathis was extradited to Las Vegas. Rowel told police that Mathis confessed to killing the two Kansas Citians in a Las Vegas suburb under construction near his own home.

“Mathis said he shot Watkins, then chased Aikens into the street and shot him while he was on the ground pleading for his life,” Rowel told police. “According to Mathis, the motive for the killings was revenge.”

Mathis’ warrant indicates that another Bay Area rapper, Andre “Mac Minister” Dow, may also be linked to Watkins’ death. Rowel told police that Dow was with Mathis when he killed the two Kansas City men. MGM-Grand Hotel video cameras recorded Dow leaving the hotel with Watkins and Aikens only 80 minutes before they were killed.

Las Vegas police department Lt. Tom Monahan tells the Pitch that Dow has not been arrested. He wouldn’t say whether Dow is being sought in connection with the killings.

Babcock says he hopes that some witnesses to Hicks’ killing will change their minds about talking because they are now in other legal trouble.

“If the truth had come out about Mac Dre earlier, I think the streets would have cleared Fat Tone,” Babcock says. “The whole Fat Tone sidetrack not only interfered with the investigation but probably resulted in his death.”

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