C-Murder Faces Second-Degree Murder Charge In Teen's Slaying

Officials say first-degree murder charge will not be pursued because it is unclear whether shooting was premeditated.

Since C-Murder's arrest on Friday, more details have come to light about the fatal shooting incident he was allegedly involved in, and police have settled on a charge of second-degree murder.

C-Murder allegedly shot and killed 16-year-old Steve Thomas with a single gunshot to the chest following an argument at the Platinum Club in Harvey, Louisiana, on January 12. About 200 people were in the club at the time of the altercation, and several were eyewitnesses to the shooting.

Thomas had apparently entered the club with a fake ID, for which the club could face misdemeanor sanctions. The Platinum Club, according to a sign on the door, is supposed to be 18-and-over for women, and 21-and-over for men. After the shooting, Thomas was taken to the West Jefferson Medical Center and was pronounced dead upon arrival.

The rapper, whose real name is Corey Miller, is being held on $1 million bail at the Jefferson Correctional Facility in Gretna, Louisiana, and his charge has been clarified as second-degree murder (see "C-Murder Arrested, Charged With Murder"). If convicted, both the minimum and maximum sentence he faces is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.

According to Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee, the charge of murder is in the second degree, rather than first, because police don't know yet whether or not the killing was premeditated.

Though C-Murder was a suspect in the killing from the outset, police didn't have enough information to issue a warrant until he was apprehended in New Orleans in a separate incident. The rapper was arrested at the House of Blues there and booked for disturbing the peace and criminal trespassing, since he had been banned at the club due to a previous incident. Once arrested, he was turned over to the sheriff's department in Jefferson Parish.

All of the recent charges come on the heels of an attempted murder charge in Baton Rouge, which stems from an incident in August when C-Murder allegedly fired a weapon outside a club after a doorman refused to let him enter without being searched (see "C-Murder Turns Self In, Will Answer Attempted-Murder Charge"). He was out on bond at the time of the Platinum Club incident. The previous charge of attempted murder complicates C-Murder's murder case, his lawyer said.

"No one wants to discuss bond reductions under current circumstances," attorney Roy Maughan said. "It's a dilemma."

"The bail may be high in a way," Sheriff Lee said, "but it's reasonable. The judge takes a lot of things into consideration, and the fact that he was out on bond for attempted murder is one of them."

Maughan said that for now he's working with the district attorneys in Jefferson Parish, Baton Rouge and New Orleans on C-Murder's various charges but that he plans to advise his client to seek separate counsel in each county.

Representatives of C-Murder's label, No Limit, had no comment.