Murder Suspect of Rapper Cutty Banks Arrested in Oklahoma
BLANCHARD, Okla. – A wanted man was located and caught in Blanchard, Oklahoma, in his alleged involvement in the murder of a California rapper.
Rapper Melota Lasi Jr., also known as Cutty Banks, was murdered outside a Wells Fargo bank in San Mateo, California.
Melota Lasi Jr was a 30-year-old San Jose rapper known for hits such as "Slide" and "Set Trippin," the latter reportedly receiving over 2 million YouTube views. (usatoday.com)
On December 19th, 2020, a gunman in a hoodie approached the victim at the steps of Wells Fargo, ultimately taking the rapper's life.
Investigators believe suspect Isaiah Reupena, 34, wanted to seek revenge on the day of the rapper's murder.
According to the suspect's attorney, prosecutors believe Reupena murdered Cutty Banks because the suspect believes the rapper killed his brother, Lewis Reupena.
The suspect allegedly had an accomplice, and investigators believe the coordination of the murder includes Reupena's late brother's girlfriend, Amanda Sitping Young.
Reupena is reportedly believed to have been monitoring rapper Cutter Banks' social media activity leading up to his murder.
The use of a license plate reader camera played a role in capturing the license plate number of the getaway car linked to the crime scene.
Through investigative tactics, investigators pulled phone number data linked to the getaway vehicle.
That phone number revealed connections to individuals with the last name Reupena.
The pings of the phone number eventually led to a burner phone, last used at a New Mexico Days Inn.
Surveillance video identified Reupena and his wife at the Days Inn.
Investigators could then get a search warrant for the suspect's wife's phone, later learning that Reupena and his wife moved to Blanchard, Oklahoma.
Reupena was later located in a Blanchard home, and he is currently in custody without bond.
Evidence includes Reupena's DNA found in the getaway car.
The suspect is awaiting potential extradition to California and faces drug and weapon possession charges in Oklahoma.
Reupena denies any involvement, stating that he did not murder rapper Cutty Banks.