Rapper found dead of apparent overdose

Gladden

A 30-year-old rapper who had been arrested but never convicted in connection with four fatal shootings since 2002 was found dead earlier this month at a West Ashley home, authorities said Monday.

Glendell Gladden Jr. fell asleep Jan. 18 on a living room couch inside the Dogwood Road apartment, but he never woke up, according to an incident report from the Charleston Police Department. Other people there found his body early that afternoon and called the authorities.

Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said Gladden’s death appeared to be the result of an accidental drug overdose. It did not seem suspicious, she said. But Wooten cautioned that the final results of an autopsy are not due for another month.

A woman who lives at the home at the Palmetto Pointe Apartments reported that she last saw Gladden “fast asleep and snoring loudly.” She said her 22-year-old cousin then went to sleep on another couch in the living room.

Gladden, who had lived on Taborwood Circle in West Ashley, was known among many of his peers as “Twoo Hunnit,” the name that appears in his obituary and on YouTube videos that feature his rap songs.

The police knew him to associate with a group called “West Cash,” a name that also appears on some of his locally produced records. The authorities attributed a clash between its members and those of the Summerville-based group “Summa Town Bound” as a factor in a July 2013 homicide in downtown Charleston that resulted in his arrest.

But murder charges against Gladden and his two co-defendants in the shooting of 22-year-old Don’ta Pringle were dropped last spring because prosecutors had no evidence that directly linked them to the crime. Pringle’s death remains unsolved.

In June 2010, Gladden fatally shot Robert Rocky Williams, 21, during what the police said was an argument over a gun in West Ashley. He was arrested on a murder charge that was later dropped because prosecutors couldn’t disprove his self-defense argument. Investigators had found a pistol at Williams’ side.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawfully carrying a firearm after his arrest in the February 2002 shooting death of his uncle, 45-year-old Gerald Gladden, outside a nightclub in the Ladson area of Berkeley County. He also was accused of removing evidence from the scene, but a charge of obstructing justice was later dropped. A voluntary manslaughter count against the alleged shooter in that shooting, which was said to have stemmed from a dispute between two families, also was dropped.

When he was 18, a charge of lying to the police was dropped after he got involved in a fight and was wounded in a September 2002 shooting that killed 22-year-old Kevin Brightman outside a Waffle House in West Ashley. Brightman’s killer was later convicted and imprisoned.

Gladden was buried Saturday in West Ashley after a widely attended funeral. People who left messages on an online memorial page described him as a “loving and caring guy.”

“Two,” one person wrote, referring to his stage name, “you left a great legacy and even more great memories!”

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.