Rapper Lil Boosie (born Torrence Hatch) pleaded not guilty on Monday afternoon to murder, drug and conspiracy charges in a brief court appearance. The 27-year-old Baton Rouge, Louisiana, rapper — already behind bars on a probation violation — was indicted on first-degree murder charges by a grand jury on June 17 in connection with an incident in October, when two men shot and killed 35-year-old Terry Boyd through the window of his home.
According to The Advocate newspaper, Boosie appeared in court for just a few minutes, looking somber, surrounded by six law enforcement officers and dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, with his wrists and ankles shackled. He told state District Judge Mike Erwin he was not guilty of one count of first-degree murder, two counts of conspiracy to introduce contraband into a penal institution, three counts of possession with intent to distribute narcotics and three counts of conspiracy to commit possession with intent to distribute narcotics.
Boosie was ordered to return to court on October 14. The rapper's attorney, entertainment lawyer Marcus Allen, told reporters afterward that his client is "absolutely not guilty," adding, "We're going to be preparing our defense. We have no idea what the evidence is. There's a lot of rumor and innuendo."
Earlier this month, The Advocate reported that East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said that investigators are looking into whether Boosie and others have ties to at least five other killings in the area since last year that have followed a murder-for-hire template similar to that of the Boyd slaying. Hillar said on Monday that his office hasn't decided yet whether to pursue the death penalty against Boosie on the murder charge, but said it was "obviously" an option.
Boosie is accused of paying men to kill Boyd and of conspiring with his girlfriend, Walnita Decuir, and a former prison guard to introduce contraband — in this case, illegal drugs such as codeine pills and synthetic marijuana — into the prison where the rapper is being held. He also faces a third charge involving drugs and conspiracy. Boosie pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
One of the men indicted earlier this month in the Boyd killing, Michael "Marlo Mike" Louding, 17, was also indicted in five other deaths, including the killing of local up-and-coming rapper Chris "Nussie" Jackson, who had been publicly beefing with Boosie until his death in February. Police are also looking into the killing of Darryl "Bleek" Milton, a former employee of Boosie's record label, BadAzz Entertainment, who was found shot in his Cadillac in April.