For the second time in less than a year, a prosecutor argued Monday to an East Baton Rouge Parish jury that rapper Torence “Lil Boosie” Hatch paid Michael “Marlo Mike” Louding some $2,800 to kill Terry Boyd in October 2009.
Eleven months after making that argument at Hatch’s first-degree murder trial, East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Dana Cummings made the same argument on the opening day of Louding’s first-degree murder trial in the slaying of Boyd.
Hatch, 30, of Baton Rouge, was acquitted last May but remains imprisoned on drug charges.
Louding, the alleged triggerman, testified at Hatch’s trial that neither he nor Hatch had any involvement in Boyd’s death. Cummings said at the time that Louding, also of Baton Rouge, lied to that jury.
Cummings argued Monday that Louding, now 20, killed the 35-year-old Boyd on Oct. 21, 2009, in a “cowardly” fashion, shooting Boyd through a window as Boyd sat on a couch at a home on Vermillion Drive in the eastern part of the parish. Louding was 17 at the time.
In stark contrast to Hatch’s trial, which drew a packed courtroom every day, there were only a handful of spectators Monday in the sprawling 11th-floor courtroom where state District Judge Trudy White is presiding over Louding’s trial.
Baton Rouge police Cpl. Kevin Adcock testified that six 9 mm shell casings were found on the ground outside Boyd’s window.
Dr. Joel Carney, who performed the autopsy on Boyd’s body, testified he was shot three times.
Cummings told the dozen jurors and two alternate jurors that Louding confessed to detectives in May 2010 to killing Boyd. Louding also admitted his involvement in several other fatal shootings, she said.
Cummings said Louding initially denied involvement in any killings, then minimized his role, and finally was more forthcoming. She described Louding’s demeanor during his videotaped statements as “absolutely cold.”
“It’s like he’s talking about buying groceries,” she argued.
Louding’s attorney, Margaret Lagattuta, countered that prosecutors have no eyewitnesses, DNA or fingerprints linking Louding to Boyd’s killing or any other slaying. “This case is a stretch. It’s a leap,” she argued. “They have done a lot of speculation, not investigation, that these cases are similar.”
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 “Gangsta” Thomas on April 25, 2009; and Charles “Nokie” Matthews and Darryl “Bleek” Milton on April 1, 2010.
Louding is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Michael Smith on Dec. 18, 2009.
Louding was 16 at the time of Jackson’s and Thomas’ deaths.
Lagattuta also argued that Louding was “manipulated” by Hatch and police, and that a young Louding wanted desperately to fit in with the Hatch crowd.
“Is he bragging? Maybe. Does he know pieces parts? Absolutely,” she said of the information he shared with police.
Cummings told the jury that Louding has a tattoo on his chest that says, “Yo Boosie, who’s next?” She said Louding got the tattoo at Hatch’s house two weeks after Boyd was gunned down.
“Does a tattoo prove he committed a murder? No,” Lagattuta argued.
Cummings said Hatch wanted Boyd killed because Hatch had learned that Boyd was planning to “jack and slap” him.
Louding is ineligible for the death penalty because he was a juvenile at the time of the crime. If convicted of first-degree murder, he would face life in prison.
Adrian Pittman, 38, also of Baton Rouge, pleaded guilty in November to a manslaughter charge in the Boyd case and was scheduled to be sentenced this week. A manslaughter conviction carries up to 40 years in prison. Cummings argued Monday that Pittman picked Louding up from Hatch’s house, dropped him off near Boyd’s home, picked him up after the shooting and drove him back to Hatch’s home.