Sheriff Harry Lee still has no idea how C-Murder filmed a video while he sat in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna, Louisiana, and some of the people whose footage appears in "Y'all Heard of Me" are now scratching their heads too.
"I interviewed him last year, but we did not shoot a music video with him in jail," said Chris Roberts, producer of the Louisiana cable-access show "Phat Phat N' All That." "I can't go into detail of the footage we shot, but I'm concerned because I don't want it to be used in the wrong way."
Roberts said he hasn't seen the video for the first single from Murder's upcoming The Truest Sh-- I Ever Said (March 22) and he's still trying to find out how some of his footage reportedly got into the rapper's video, which also appears to borrow shots from Court TV. He said he did not give permission for any of the interview with Murder, born Corey Miller, to be used in a music video; the interview has not yet even aired on local cable.
Miller recorded his album over the course of last year by dictating his lyrics into a portable recording device that was brought into weekly meetings by his lawyer, Ron Rakosky. While Sheriff Lee said there is nothing illegal about Rakosky bringing a recording device into the jail and Miller will not face sanction for recording the album or video, Lee said he has instituted a new "Rakosky Rule" in light of the flap over the clip (see "C-Murder Runs Afoul Of Sheriff With Jailhouse Video").
"Because of his notoriety and because I thought whatever message he had to give to [the interviewers] would be a good one, I told him he could do the interviews from jail," Lee explained. "But I will not allow special access to him anymore and I will take stern measures against his attorney to make sure he doesn't sandbag me anymore."
Among the measures: Rakosky can only bring in a pen and paper, no recording devices, and the lawyer must now turn his pockets inside out when he comes to visit. "These rules are specific to this attorney," Lee said. "I don't trust him."
Lee said he will investigate how the footage was obtained and whether Rakosky broke any laws. Rakosky, who appears in the video, denies any wrongdoing.
"To the best of my knowledge, the video was not made by these entities," Rakosky said of Court TV and "Phat." "They didn't go in to create a video and I have no idea how that footage got to [the video's director]. I had nothing to do with it."
A spokesperson for Miller's label, Koch Entertainment, could not be reached at press time. In a statement released Thursday, Court TV said it aired its interview with Miller late last year, but that the footage was filmed by an outside company, Digital Ranch. A representative for Digital Ranch did not return calls at press time but told Louisiana's Times-Picayune that he did not furnish footage to Koch and has never heard of the label.
Miller was charged with second-degree murder in the killing of 16-year-old Steve Thomas at the Platinum Club in Harvey, Louisiana, on January 12, 2002 (see "C-Murder Arrested, Charged With Murder"). He was found guilty in 2003, but the conviction was overturned last April. He was granted a new trial and prosecutors appealed that ruling (see "C-Murder Granted New Trial In Second-Degree Murder Case"). Rakosky said he has no idea when to expect a decision from the appellate court.
While he waits, Miller is also prepping for a second trail. The rapper was indicted on two counts of second-degree attempted murder in July stemming from an incident at a Baton Rouge nightclub in August 2001 (see "Rapper C-Murder Indicted On Attempted Second-Degree Murder Charges"). In that case, he is alleged to have pulled a gun on a nightclub security guard and attempted to fire it twice, only to have it jam up on him both times. Miller is due in court for that case on May 9.