Judge In C-Murder's Murder Trial Allows 'Previous Bad Acts' Evidence

Evidence from previous alleged shooting incident can bear upon current charges.

The defense strategy for C-Murder, who is facing second-degree murder charges, has taken a damaging blow.

A Gretna, Louisiana, judge ruled Friday (July 19) that the prosecution can introduce witnesses and evidence of previous alleged criminal behavior in the rapper's upcoming murder trial (see "C-Murder Indicted For Murder"). This means witnesses to and a videotape of an alleged shooting that took place last August will bear upon the rapper's most recent charges, which stem from a January arrest.

In that incident, C-Murder (born Corey Miller) allegedly fired a gun — which malfunctioned — outside a Baton Rouge club after a doorman refused to let him enter without being searched (see "C-Murder Wanted For Attempted Murder"). The incident was caught on a security camera. After a warrant was issued for his arrest, C-Murder turned himself in and posted bail (see "C-Murder Turns Self In, Will Answer Attempted-Murder Charge").

The August arrest has already complicated C-Murder's second-degree murder case. Even though he has yet to be charged in Baton Rouge, the previous incident caused his latest bail to be set higher than usual, at $1 million. Additionally, the January arrest violated the terms of his release on bond in Baton Rouge, so posting bail for second-degree murder wasn't a realistic option, because it would mean he could then be remanded back into custody in Baton Rouge. C-Murder has remained in custody at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Facility in Gretna since January 18.

Now, with Judge Martha Sassone's ruling, the 11 witnesses to the Baton Rouge shooting and the videotape of the incident can be used to demonstrate a pattern of behavior. C-Murder's defense plans to appeal the ruling.

"No bullets were fired, no one was injured, no charges were filed, even though he was arrested, and no prosecution has been instituted [in the Baton Rouge shooting]," C-Murder's co-counsel Ronald Rakosky said. "And it's a totally different situation."

The 24th Judicial District Court in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, also heard testimony from a prisoner claiming that the rapper had confessed to him. C-Murder's defense team dismissed the testimony of the prisoner, who is facing drug distribution charges, as "preposterous" and "dubious."

"I have his rap sheet right here," Rakosky said, "and he's admitted to numerous felony convictions and he's facing a life sentence. He's trying to cut time off his sentence by helping the prosecution."

As if the blows on Friday to C-Murder's defense weren't enough, the defense is struggling to come up with its own witnesses and has been arguing that the district attorney's office still hasn't complied with the discovery process by providing them with the identities of witnesses who might exonerate the rapper. The prosecution initially told the court that the identities of witnesses were being withheld to protect their safety (see "Prosecutors Accuse C-Murder Of Trying To Harm Witnesses In Murder Trial").

"We know virtually nothing," Rakosky said. "We know we're in jail, we know we're accused, but we don't even know the name of the first witness against us. We know basically what we knew seven months ago, and nothing new."

C-Murder's next motions hearing is scheduled for August 28.