The guilt-ridden rapper who confessed to a 17-year-old murder told The Post yesterday he didn’t know his victim had died when he decided to come clean on the cold case.

Trevell Coleman — whose rap name is G-Dep — said cops dropped the bombshell after he went into the 25th Precinct station house Wednesday to admit to the Oct. 19, 1993, shooting of John Henkel. “I was surprised — for some reason, I really didn’t think that he died,” the bald and bearded Coleman said in a jailhouse interview. “When they told me, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m not going home after this.’ “

Manhattan DA spokeswoman Erin Duggan said Coleman, 36, has now been charged with murder in the case. He faces life in prison. The rapper — who signed with Sean Combs’ Bad Boy label in 1999, was dropped a few years later, and last August signed with Famous Records — said his dark secret “weighed on me.” It got so bad for him, he confessed despite the objections of loved ones. “I told my mom and my girlfriend that I wanted to confess, and they both told me to leave it in the past,” he said. “[My girlfriend] is pretty peeved.”

“That’s just the life I was living back then,” he said. “I started to wonder if all the bad things that happened to me in my life were karma for what I did . . . you start to think ‘My happiness is because of someone else’s sadness.’ “I thought that if I turned myself in, it might give me closure.”

“I haven’t been living right,” Coleman told The Post. “I always had people around me that were good people, but I was doing the wrong thing.” Though he said his confession confounds everyone — “People in [jail] don’t understand how you can confess,” he said — to Coleman, it makes perfect sense. “I’m just trying to get right with God,” he said. Coleman said his career was just “little shows here and there. The only thing I regret is that I have to leave my kids,” he said.

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