Judge rules that rap lyrics can be used in Lil’ Boosie First-Degree murder trial
POSTED: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 4:30pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 11:24am
Baton Rouge, La (NBC33) — A judge ruled today that three very specific rap lyrics can be used to show personal intent in the First-Degree murder trial for Baton Rouge rapper Lil’ Boosie.
The pre-trial hearing held in Judge Mike Erwin’s courtroom lasted for roughly four hours on Tuesday, April 24. The focus of the hearing was to determine whether lyrics written by Torrence Hatch, aka Lil’ Boosie, could be used as evidence in his trial, which is set to begin on Monday, April 30.
Hatch is accused of hiring a hitman, Michael Louding, aka Marlo Mike, to carry out the murder of Terry Boyd in 2009. Louding is accused of six separate murders in the Baton Rouge area. Louding originally denied any connection to Hatch, but later confessed to the Baton Rouge Police Department in regards to his involvement.
Today the interrogating detective with the Baton Rouge Police Department, Alvin Howard, gave witness to that confession. He says that Louding admitted to him that Hatch paid him $2,800 to commit the murder. The defense argued that Detective Howard did not make any attempt to verify if those funds were received by Louding.
Howard was also asked to provide testimony in regards to the lyrics that were the focus of today’s hearing.
The prosecution originally requested to play one of Hatch’s songs during the trial. They noted that the song contains three specific lyrics, “187,” “murk,” and “cake,” which Howard says are all common slang words used to denote murder and money.
The defense argued that Howard is not an expert in slang or rap terminology, to which Judge Erwin agreed. The Judge says that an expert in rap music must provide testimony in the trial.
The defense also eluded that the lyrics may have been altered in some way and for that reason the song should not be played. Judge Erwin ruled that the prosecution cannot play the song in its entirety, nor can the full verse be read line for line. However, the three words in question can be used as evidence.
The defense also made two additional requests regarding the trial. The first was to have a closed trial due to Hatch’s high profile status. Judge Erwin ruled against that saying that it is not the defendants right to have a private trial, but rather that it is the public’s right to know the details of the case.
The second request was to have Hatch transported from Angola Prison to the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison during the course of the trial. Judge Erwin did not deny that request, but it is subject to further approval by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Department.
Additional contributions to this story provided by Saturn Douglas.