Half a week after C-Murder was indicted by a state grand jury for second degree murder, the rapper now faces a wrongful death suit as well. The suit was filed on Monday (March 4) by the parents of the teen he's accused of shooting and killing.
George and Dolores Thomas claim that C-Murder, whose real name is Corey Miller, shot their son, 16-year-old Steve Thomas, at the Platinum Club in Harvey, Louisiana, because Miller was "upset and angry" that he was getting less favorable attention than Thomas was during a rap contest in which they both were participating.
C-Murder has fifteen days from the day he's served to reply to the suit. Since he's being held at the Jefferson Correctional Facility in Gretna, Louisiana, across the street from where the suit was filed (the Jefferson Parish district courthouse), he should be served within the week, estimated the Thomases' lawyer, Trey Mustian.
Since a different burden of proof applies in civil than in criminal cases, Mustian said that this criminal case could have some impact on the civil case. "An analogous situation is what happened with O.J. Simpson," he said. "Instead of proving beyond a reasonable doubt, we just need a preponderance of the evidence. You don't need a conviction in the criminal case to determine the outcome, but it doesn't hurt." Rather, the main impact of the criminal case, Mustian said, would be the timing. "It's very hard to move ahead while the criminal case is pending," he said.
C-Murder, meanwhile, plans to plead not guilty when he's arraigned later this week (see "C-Murder Is A Victim Of Mistaken Identity, Lawyer Says"). C-Murder's lawyer Roy Maughan, who's based in Baton Rouge, said that he's been working on his client's defense with a New Orleans team of lawyers and investigators. Part of the local team's investigation thus far has propped up the rapper's claims of mistaken identity, in finding witnesses who say that C-Murder was not the killer (see "C-Murder Indicted For Murder"). Maughan said that he saw C-Murder on Saturday to discuss the case, and "nowhere in that conversation did he mention that he was at the club for a rap contest."
The Thomas family names not only C-Murder as a defendant, but also his record label imprint, Tru Records, and his like-named businesses in East Baton Rouge. Claiming that Miller's businesses Tru Records, Tru Gear and Tru Music Publishing are "alter egos" of one another, Thomas' parents say in the suit that the various businesses constitute a "single business enterprise" which operates to promote C-Murder and his products. Tru Records didn't return calls for comment.
The Thomas family additionally names the Platinum Club as a defendant in their suit, because the venue allowed their underage son entry and because it failed to provide a safe environment by "failing to monitor and prevent the introduction into, and use of firearms in, the club." Club owner Travis Mumphrey didn't return calls for comment.