Rockford man pleads guilty to murder of Rockford rapper


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — 22-year-old Dakota Graff pleaded guilty Thursday to the murder of Rockford rapper, William Pickering, who went by the stage names EBE Bandz and Billy Da Kid.

Graff had also been charged Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder, Residential Burglary, and Concealment of a Homicidal Death, but all other charges were dismissed.

On Saturday, June 1st, 2019, Rockford Police officers went to the Pickering’s home in the 500 block of Fisher Avenue, behind the Valencia Apartments, to conduct a welfare check.

Police say that even though his vehicle was at the location, they could not locate Pickering.

The investigation led them to 5200 Indianhead Avenue on June 20th, where the crime scene was located, police said.

William Pickering

Further information led police to an undisclosed location in unincorporated Winnebago County where Pickering’s remains were found.

Graff was one of three men arrested in connection with the crime.

23-year-old Manuel Ramirez was sentenced to 180-days in jail in February for the charge of Concealment of a Homicidal Death. In addition to his sentence, Ramirez must serve 1 year of probation.

William Arzate, 23, has been charged with two counts of First Degree Murder. He is set to appear in court on Thursday, June 24th.

Photos: Winnebago County Jail

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