Opening arguments began on Saturday (May 5) in front of a packed courtroom in the first degree murder trial of Baton Rouge rapper Torrence “Lil Boosie” Hatch.
Prosecution attorney, Dana Cummings, addressed the jury first with a detailed account of the murder plot and events leading up to the accused hit man Michael “Marlo Mike” Louding’s arrest.
Cummings told the jury that Terry Boyd had been released from prison and was staying with his sister and her boyfriend.
During the evening of October 21, 2009, Louding shot through a window and killed Terry Boyd, as he sat on the couch in the family’s den.
In exchange for his testimony, Cummings and District Attorney Hillar Moore agreed to give Louding a less than life sentence.
Cummings repeatedly referred to Louding as the ‘key’ to a ring of unsolved homicides.
Louding admitted, in a taped confession, to killing six individuals.
One of which he said was contracted by Lil Boosie, who allegedly paid him $2,800 for the murder.
The prosecution advised the jury to pay close attention to the demeanor of Michael Louding when he is on the witness stand testifying.
“If Michael Louding does not tell the truth, well that just makes my job easier, because I don’t have to figure out what less than life is,” Cummings said.
Other evidence that the jury will see comes from seized computers and hard drives.
A computer forensic specialist is expected to give testimony that songs recording by Lil’ Boosie were done during the same time frame that Terry Boyd’s murder was committed.
The song “187” is believed to have been recorded before the murder and contained the lyrics “Yo’ Marlo, the b**tch gotta die.”
Seven minutes after the murder occurred, Lil Boosie is said to have recorded the song “Body Bag” that contains the lyrics “rock a bye baby,” which Cummings said indicated someone is dead.
Cummings made it clear that she is not saying lyrics prove a motive but they do show Lil Boosie’s state of mind.
Before concluding her opening statement, Cummings told the jury that Michael Louding will reveal in court a tattoo on his stomach of an AK-47 that reads: “Yo Boosie Who’s Next?”
The prosecutor said Louding had the tattoo done on November 4, 2009, two weeks after Boyd was killed.
Adriene Pittman, who is believed to be the getaway driver, has a tattoo of the bible on his back and underneath the words: “Who’s Next?”
Lil Boosie has a tattoo of a smoking AK-47 with “Boss Man” written above it.
Defense attorney Jason Williams began his opening statement by saying that Lil Boosie had no malicious feelings towards Terry Boyd.
In fact, Lil Boosie has a daughter with the victim’s sister.
They believe the District Attorney is more concerned with going after a high-profile rapper, than the individuals who actually had motive to commit the homicide.
The jury will learn of another man who was involved named Mike Judson.
The defense said that Boyd had robbed Judson of money and drugs, creating an ultimate a motive for Boyd being killed.
Judson is now deceased.
In regards to Marlo Mike’s testimony, Williams said “this guy [Marlo Mike] is off the chain.”
Williams said that not only did Louding claim that he hears voices in his head telling him to hurt people, but he also was in special education classes for the short time that he did attend school.
According to Williams, the recorded phone calls and letters in which Lil Boosie is accused of freaking out because he didn’t know what Marlo Mike told police, is normal.
“I would be freaking out too if there was a possibility of me serving a life sentence for a crime I didn’t commit,” Williams said.
The songs that were recorded are said to be re-sampling of songs Lil Boosie had previously recorded.
The defense said they do not correlate with the murder of Boyd.
Williams explained that Judson, Lil Boosie and Louding were simply grieving lost loved ones.
“The tattoos, well that means which one of my love ones are next to die,” Williams said.
After a brief recess, the state called their first witness, Ben Hawkins, the boyfriend of Boyd’s sister.
Hawkins gave testimony to his residence and that Terry Boyd had indeed just been released from prison and was staying at his home.
The next witness was Dr. Michael White, who happened to place a 911 call and stated that he saw two black males, one who was wearing a white shirt running along the fence and then again by railroad tracks.
The final witness of the day was Corporal Adcock.
Adcock gave testimony to the evidence collected at the crime scene, which included six 9mm shells and over 85 pictures snapped.
Members of Boyd’s family left out of the court room hysterically when some of the images were revealed.
Testimony resumed on Sunday afternoon.