The man rapper Torence “Lil Boosie’’ Hatch allegedly hired to murder Terry Boyd in 2009 testified Monday he lied to Baton Rouge police and an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury in 2010 when he said Hatch paid him $2,800 to kill Boyd.
Michael “Marlo Mike’’ Louding, 19, of Baton Rouge, also testified at Hatch’s first-degree murder trial that he lied about killing five other people over a 14-month span.
A sometimes cocky Louding — the prosecution’s star witness — said he lied because Baton Rouge police threatened to lock up his mother and stepfather and told him he would die by lethal injection, that Hatch had put out a $25,000 contract on his life and that District Attorney Hillar Moore III “wanted’’ Hatch.
“Did you believe Torence Hatch was trying to kill you?’’ prosecutor Dana Cummings asked Louding, who said he was close to Hatch “like a brother.’’
“No ma’am,’’ replied Louding, who later said he is a “lover,’’ not a killer.
Louding acknowledged he did not tell the anonymous jury Monday what he told the grand jury on June 3, 2010.
“Why didn’t you?’’ Cummings asked.
“I have no idea,’’ he said. “I’m telling the truth today.’’
Louding also testified while being questioned by one of his attorneys, Jason Williams, that Hatch, now 29, and Boyd, 35, had no beef between them.
Cummings, who called Louding as the state’s 12th witness, had cautioned the jury on Saturday that Louding was going to lie when he took the stand because Hatch and his associates had intimidated him.
“This is the state’s star witness,’’ Williams said outside the 19th Judicial District Courthouse after Louding gave his explosive testimony Monday. “That was a surprise. We had no idea what he was going to say when he took the stand.’’
Cummings told jurors over the weekend that Louding, who is charged with five counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in a string of killings, signed a contract with prosecutors that called for him to receive a sentence of less than life in prison in exchange for his cooperation.
“It’s (the deal) in limbo,’’ Louding’s attorney, Margaret Lagattuta, said Monday when asked if the deal is dead. “It’s closer to dead than alive.’’
Lagattuta said numerous threats have been made against Louding and his family, and he is scared and nervous.
“I’ve never seen the cockiness,’’ she added. “Maybe he was showing off for Boosie.’’
Louding initially denied involvement in Boyd’s killing in a May 14, 2010, videotaped police statement played for the jury Monday. But in a May 17, 2010, statement also shown to jurors, Louding admitted to being the triggerman in the slaying and said Hatch paid him $2,800 shortly after the killing was confirmed.
Before those statements were played in state District Judge Mike Erwin’s courtroom, Louding took the witness stand with his wrists and ankles shackled and wearing an orange and white striped East Baton Rouge Parish Prison jumpsuit.
Erwin warned Louding that if he committed perjury or lied on the witness stand, he could face a prison term of 5 to 40 years.
Louding testified he was at Hatch’s house the night of Oct. 21, 2009 — the night Boyd was shot in a house on Vermillion Street — with Hatch, Adrian Pittman, Michael “Ghost’’ Judson and others. Louding and Pittman, 38, of Baton Rouge, also are charged with first-degree murder in the killing. Judson is deceased.
“Did anything significant happen that night?’’ Cummings asked Louding as Lagattuta, Moore and Sheriff Sid Gautreaux looked on.
“No ma’am,’’ Louding replied.
“Nothing?’’ the prosecutor inquired further.
“No ma’am,’’ he answered.
“Did you participate in a homicide that night?’’ Cummings asked.
“No ma’am,’’ he stated.
Louding went on to say he did not know Boyd; did not tell Baton Rouge police detectives he killed Boyd; and did not confess to killing local up-and-coming rapper Chris “Nussie” Jackson on Feb. 9, 2009, Marcus Thomas on April 25, 2009, and Charles Matthews and Darryl “Bleek” Milton on April 1, 2010.
Louding, who is charged with first-degree murder in those killings, also is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Michael Smith on Dec. 18, 2009.
At that point, Cummings described Louding as a hostile witness and asked Erwin for permission to play Louding’s police statements.
While they were played with police Sgt. Chris Johnson on the witness stand, Louding sat in the prisoner area a few feet away from Hatch and his attorneys. A sheriff’s deputy stood between Louding and Hatch.
Johnson testified that Louding was “very detailed’’ and “specific’’ about the Boyd killing.
When Louding returned to the witness stand, he complained that eight hours of his police interrogation were not taped. He said he asked for a lawyer several times.
“Where the other eight hours at?’’ Louding asked Cummings. “Sounds like somebody was trying to hide something.’’
A short time later, Cummings asked Louding about a tattoo on his chest that depicts an AK-47 assault rifle and says, “Yo Boosie, who’s next?’’
“What does my tattoo have to do with what we’re talking about?’’ Louding asked.
At Cummings’ request and with Erwin’s permission, sheriff’s deputies unshackled Louding’s wrists so he could stand in front of the jury and display the tattoo. The prosecutor also showed jurors a photo of the tattoo.
“What does that tattoo mean?’’ she asked.
“I don’t know. It’s just a tattoo,’’ Louding answered.
Cummings had told the jury over the weekend that prosecutors have proof Louding got the tattoo just two weeks after Boyd was slain, and that he told police it was a reference to who was going to be killed next.
“It was way before Terry Boyd,’’ Louding said of the tattoo.
Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty in Hatch’s case, meaning he would be sentenced to life in prison if convicted as charged.
Louding, who was 17 at the time of Boyd’s death, is charged with first-degree murder in the killing but is not eligible for the death penalty because of his age.
Hatch, who pleaded guilty in November to charges that accused him of conspiring to smuggle drugs and other illegal contraband into Dixon Correctional Institute and the Louisiana State Penitentiary, was sentenced to eight years in prison.
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