Lawyers for C-Murder are preparing to file a motion for a new trial one week after the rapper was convicted of killing 16-year-old Steve Thomas outside a Louisiana nightclub.
Judge Martha Sassone of the 24th Judicial District Court in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, said Thursday (October 9) that she will hear a motion for a new trial on October 28. In the meantime, C-Murder, whose real name is Corey Miller, will remain behind bars after being found guilty of second-degree murder on October 1, a crime that carries a mandatory life sentence (see [article id="1479444"]"C-Murder Found Guilty Of Second-Degree Murder, Receives Life Sentence"[/article]).
Soon after the verdict was read, Sassone imposed a gag order on the jury as well as the defense and prosecution teams, restricting them from speaking to the press. Sassone said she couldn’t say when the gag order would be lifted.
Thomas was beaten and shot to death on January 12 during a fight outside the Platinum Club in Harvey, Louisiana (see [article id="1451854"]"C-Murder Arrested, Charged With Murder"[/article]). While two prosecution witnesses testified that Miller, 30, was involved in the beating of Thomas and that they heard the gunfire, neither actually saw the murder weapon. The defense brought in nine witnesses who said he was not involved in the killing. Those witnesses' testimony, however, gave differing descriptions of Miller's clothing and placed him in several different places in the club. The rapper, who is the younger brother of No Limit boss Master P, did not testify during the trial.
The victim was participating in an MC battle at the Platinum Club on the night of the shooting. Prosecutors portrayed him as an aspiring rapper whose bedroom was plastered with posters of his rap idol, C-Murder.
The trial was interrupted during final arguments when an appeals court ruled that prosecutors could tell jurors they could find Miller innocent of second-degree murder, but guilty of manslaughter, which would have carried a 40-year prison sentence. Miller's lawyer, Ronald J. Rokosky, asked for a mistrial at the time, arguing that he had been defending the rapper only against second-degree murder charges, not manslaughter charges as well.
Following the verdict, Miller's father, Percy Miller Sr., vowed that the family would appeal. "My son didn't do that," Miller Sr. told the Associated Press. The AP also reported that Rokosky argued during the trial that the findings of Jefferson Parish investigators were flawed, questioning why they were able to produce only two witnesses who could identify Miller as the triggerman when there were more than 150 people in the club when officers arrived.