Seven hundred potential jurors have been summoned to a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, court and 12 will be selected to decide the fate of underground rap star Lil Boosie.
The jury selection for Boosie’s murder trial began Monday (April 30), and rather than the normal 500 Baton Rouge residents who are summoned for jury duty each week, an extra 200 have been called for the high-profile case, WAFB News is reporting.
Boosie (real name: Torrence Hatch) is facing a first-degree murder charge for the 2009 shooting of Terry Boyd. Prosecutors are alleging that the rapper ordered the hit on Boyd from behind bars, but through it all, Boosie has maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty to all charges in June 2010.
At the urging of the prosecution, the judge is allowing the MC’s lyrics to be brought up in trial claiming that specific words in his songs equal intent. The defense attorneys are, of course, refuting such claims.
Though it has been widely reported, the death penalty is not on the table if the rapper is found guilty, according to WAFB.
The murder trial is just another bullet point in the rapper’s list of legal troubles. In November 2011, Boosie Bad Azz pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiring to smuggle drugs into Louisiana’s Dixon Correctional Center and Angola State Penitentiary and was sentenced to eight years behind bars.
During an interview from behind bars in May 2011, the Trill Entertainment rapper told XXL magazine he was being unfairly targeted by the justice system. “[I'm here] ’cause of the songs I made, before I was indicted, about the police in Baton Rouge and what’s going on here,” he said. “There’s a lot with our record label that the system don’t like. … They took my hard drive out of my house after I got arrested. I have albums for days in there. They still haven’t returned it. They’ve had it for damn near a year now. I need that music.”
Lil Boosie first rose to prominence with his 2006 debut album Bad Azz and scored his biggest hit in 2008 when he was featured on Lil Webbie’s 2008 #1 Billboard rap single “Independent.”