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Woman Arrested For Allegedly Arranging Murder Of San Jose Rapper In Case Of Mistaken Revenge

Police say that Amanda Young mistakenly believed that rapper Cutty Banks was responsible for her boyfriend’s murder after an "amateur investigation" of her own. 

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Woman Arrested For Allegedly Arranging Rapper’s Murder

A California woman has been arrested for allegedly orchestrating the murder of rapper Cutty Banks in what authorities have said was an act of revenge directed at an innocent man.

Amanda Young, 29, was arrested for homicide and conspiracy on April 15 in connection to the December 19, 2020 murder of Melota Lasi, a local rapper who went by the stage name Cutty Banks, the San Mateo Police Department confirmed in a recent release. Young’s arrest comes weeks after 34-year-old Isaiah Reupena was arrested for the murder.

Police say that the killing was an act of retaliation. Lewis Reupena, Young’s boyfriend and Isaiah’s brother, was shot and killed in a road rage incident in Southern California in August 2020, according to police. Following the murder, Young worked with her boyfriend’s friends and family on a “street investigation” to find the person responsible for Lewis Reupena’s death. After what police described as an “amateur investigation,” Young determined that Lasi was responsible, authorities said. Young allegedly “convinced” Isaiah Reupena of Lasi’s guilt, prompting him to murder Lasi as an act of revenge. But, police say, the revenge was unwarranted; an investigation by the California Highway Patrol determined that Lasi was not involved in Lewis Reupena’s death.

Lasi was found unresponsive in a parking lot of a Wells Fargo in San Mateo on the morning of Dec. 19, 2020, police said in a previous release. Bystanders reported seeing a then-unidentified male shoot the victim five times before running away from the scene on foot and fleeing in a white Mercedes. Upon their arrival, officers found Lasi unresponsive and he was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Days later, the white Mercedes was found abandoned in Southern California, but a subsequent investigation led authorities to Blanchard, Oklahoma where, police say, Isaiah Reupena moved following the shooting.

Isaiah Reupena was arrested for murder on April 1 and is scheduled to be extradited to San Mateo County, according to police. Young, who’d moved to Oklahoma with her boyfriend’s family following the December murder, had since moved back to Southern California, where she was arrested. She is currently being held without bail at the Maple Street Correctional Center and is scheduled to next appear in court on May 10, online jail records show.

Following Lasi’s murder, his mother Veronica Lasi told local outlet KTVU that her son never mentioned that he believed his life “could be in jeopardy.”

"For a mother to have a child in its natural birth, that pain? It's nothing compared to the pain when he's gone," she said.

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