The jury in Baton Rouge rapper Torence “Lil Boosie’’ Hatch’s first-degree murder trial listened intently Wednesday to violence- and expletive-laden lyrics that prosecutors say Hatch recorded in his home just before and immediately after Terry Boyd was shot to death in 2009.
Hatch’s attorneys noted after court that Boyd’s name is not mentioned in the lyrics and said the music has nothing to do with the crime.
Hatch, 29, is accused of paying Michael “Marlo Mike’’ Louding to kill Boyd, who was fatally shot inside a Vermillion Drive home at 12:42 a.m. on Oct. 21, 2009.
Computer forensics expert Konstantinos Dimitrelos testified Wednesday that it was 11:24 p.m. on Oct. 20, 2009, when Hatch recorded a lyric in the song “187’’ that says, “Yo Marlo. He drive a Monte Carlo. I want that (expletive) dead.’’
Police detectives have testified previously that 187 is police code in California for murder.
That same night, in lyrics recorded at 11:26 p.m., Hatch calls himself the “John Gotti of the south side’’ and raps, “I want that (expletive) dead today.’’
At 11:54 p.m. that night, Dimitrelos testified, Hatch recorded the lyric, “please tell him it’s from Boosie when you hit that (expletive) up.’’
Then, at 12:50 a.m. on Oct. 21, 2009, just eight minutes after Boyd was killed, Hatch recorded a lyric to the song “Body Bag’’ that says “rock a bye baby.’’ Dimitrelos testified it was 12:51 a.m. when Hatch recorded lyrics that say, “Curtain call. Put that (expletive) brains on the wall’’ and “How you going to bust me in a body bag?’’
Prosecutor Dana Cummings had told jurors Saturday that Hatch wanted Boyd killed because Hatch learned in a letter from an inmate named Lee Lucas that Boyd, who had recently been released from prison, planned to do Hatch harm.
Hatch’s attorneys call that allegation nonsense and say Boyd’s sister and Hatch had a child together. They also contend Hatch and Boyd had no disagreement between them.
As for the lyrics played in court Wednesday, Hatch attorney Jason Williams said some of the lyrics were recorded long before Boyd was killed, and what jurors heard was “resampled’’ lyrics.
“None of these things have anything to do with Terry Boyd,’’ he said. “There’s no significance to this crime.’’
Fellow Hatch attorney Martin Regan accused Cummings of using the lyrics “just to slander’’ Hatch and said the lyrics are “not relevant.’’
“She is doing everything she can to put a square peg in a round hole, but it’s not going to fit,’’ he added.
Testimony will enter its sixth day Thursday in state District Judge Mike Erwin’s courtroom. The prosecution is nearing the end of its case. The anonymous jury is being sequestered in a hotel.
Dimitrelos also testified Wednesday that 15 calls were made from Louding’s cell phone between 11:22 p.m. on Oct. 20, 2009, and 12:56 a.m. on Oct. 21, 2009, and that the calls began in the vicinity of Hatch’s then-house on Pompey Drive, moved to the area where Boyd was killed, and ended in the vacinity of the Pompey residence.
Dimitrelos, who said some of the calls were made to phone numbers belonging to Hatch, acknowledged to Regan that he could not say who made the calls, what was said or who was on the other end of the line.
“Thank you for coming,’’ Regan told Dimitrelos.
Hatch’s first cousin, Carvis “Donkey’’ Webb, testified he was living in Atlanta when Boyd was killed, but said he believes Hatch and Louding, who also is charged with first-degree murder in the killing, are innocent.
Louding, who told police in May 2010 that Hatch paid him $2,800 to kill Boyd, testified Monday that neither he nor Hatch had anything to do with the slaying.
Cummings, with Webb on the witness stand Wednesday, played several taped phone conversations in which Webb tells an incarcerated Louding to say that police “whooped’’ him and that he asked for a lawyer.
In an Aug. 10, 2010, call in which Webb is speaking to an unidentified person who is relaying what Webb says to Louding, Webb states, “If Hatch walks, he (Louding) walks.’’
“Follow my lead and you’re coming home,’’ Webb adds.
Webb testified Louding “reached out to me’’ because he is in prison for something he did not do.
In another call, Webb tells Louding, “You gotta just tell the truth.’’
“Nobody saw him (Louding) do nothing. If Torence had done it, I wouldn’t be here. I ain’t gonna lie,’’ Webb testified, adding that he has served time in prison and does not plan on returning there.
“The truth is Torence Hatch is innocent and you know it,’’ Webb said in a toe-to-toe exchange with Cummings. “You not trying to get the truth.’’
“Isn’t it true that ‘follow my lead’ means tell my lies?’’ the prosecutor asked about one of Webb’s taped remarks.
“Follow my lead means tell the truth and the truth will set you free,’’ he replied.
Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty, meaning Hatch would be sentenced to life in prison if convicted as charged in the killing of Boyd.
Louding, who is ineligible for the death penalty because he was 17 at the time of Boyd’s death, faces four other counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in a string of slayings that began with the Feb. 9, 2009, shooting death of local up-and-coming rapper Chris “Nussie” Jackson and ended with the April 1, 2010, double-murder of Charles Matthews and Darryl “Bleek” Milton.
Adrian Pittman, 38, of Baton Rouge, also is charged with first-degree murder in Boyd’s death.
Hatch pleaded guilty in November to conspiring to smuggle drugs and other illegal contraband into Dixon Correctional Institute and the Louisiana State Penitentiary. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.