Man pleads guilty in BR slaying

The accused getaway driver in an alleged murder-for-hire, in which Baton Rouge rap artist Torence “Lil Boosie” Hatch was acquitted earlier this year, pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge of manslaughter in the 2009 slaying.

Adrian Pittman, whose plea agreement calls for him to receive a prison term of 20 years, will be sentenced April 24 by state District Judge Don Johnson.

The judge stressed that the agreed upon sentence is not locked in stone.

Michael “Marlo Mike” Louding, the accused triggerman in the Oct. 21, 2009, killing of Terry Boyd on Vermillion Drive, is scheduled to stand trial March 18 on a first-degree murder charge in that case.

Prosecutor Dana Cummings and David Rozas, who represents Pittman, declined comment when asked if Pittman will testify against Louding.

“Just got to tell the truth,” Pittman, 38, of Baton Rouge, said when Johnson asked if he had been threatened or coerced in any way to plead guilty. “I live my life according to the word of God. I take full responsibility for what occurred a couple years ago.”

Jury selection in Pittman’s second-degree murder trial began Friday morning. He pleaded guilty in the afternoon to manslaughter.

Louding, 19, of Baton Rouge, is not eligible for the death penalty because he was a juvenile at the time of the Boyd killing. He also is charged in several other fatal shootings in Baton Rouge.

East Baton Rouge Parish prosecutors allege that Hatch, who is currently imprisoned on drug charges, paid Louding to kill Boyd. A jury in May acquitted Hatch on a first-degree murder charge in the alleged murder-for-hire.

“Torence Hatch perceived that Terry Boyd was a threat to him,” Cummings said in court Friday.

Hatch put a $25,000 bounty on Boyd’s head, she said, and Louding and Michael “Ghost” Judson accepted the challenge. Judson is now deceased.

Cummings said Pittman picked Louding and Judson up from Hatch’s house, dropped them off near Boyd’s home, picked them up after the shooting and drove them back to Hatch’s home.

Louding also is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of 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. He is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Michael Smith on Dec. 18, 2009.

Boyd, 35, was shot through a window while sitting on a couch at a house on Vermillion Drive.

Louding testified at Hatch’s trial that he and Hatch had nothing to do with Boyd’s death. Louding also denied killing anyone else.

Louding told police in May 2010 that he was involved in the killing of six people. He testified before a grand jury on June 3, 2010, and a day after murder indictments were returned against Louding and five other Baton Rouge men — Pittman, Jared Williams, Ryan “Sneaks” Carroll, Kendrick Johnson and Johnathan Rogers.

Hatch was indicted two weeks later, as was Reginald Youngblood, also of Baton Rouge.

Citing Louding’s testimony at Hatch’s trial and a lack of corroborating evidence, Cummings dismissed first-degree murder charges against Williams and Rogers in June and July, respectively. Williams was accused in the Thomas killing, and Rogers was charged in the killing of Matthews and Milton.

Carroll, Johnson and Youngblood are charged in the slaying of Matthews and Milton.