Jury convicts Louding of first-degree murder  

Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Dana Cummings, left, and District Attorney Hillar Moore III, right, walk out the Baton Rouge district courthouse April 26 after  a jury found Michael 'Marlo Mike' Louding guilty of first-degree murder in the 2009 death of Terry Boyd. Behind Cummings and Moore are Assistant District Attorney Louise Hines, left,  Chuck Smith, District Attorney's Office investigator, and paralegal Sonya Quigley, far right. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Dana Cummings, left, and District Attorney Hillar Moore III, right, walk out the Baton Rouge district courthouse April 26 after a jury found Michael 'Marlo Mike' Louding guilty of first-degree murder in the 2009 death of Terry Boyd. Behind Cummings and Moore are Assistant District Attorney Louise Hines, left, Chuck Smith, District Attorney's Office investigator, and paralegal Sonya Quigley, far right.

“He sneaks in the night, the gutless wonder. He has no conscience. He has no remorse. He gets paid for killing, but he enjoys his work.” Dana cummings,   East Baton Rouge Parish assistant district attorney  on Michael ‘Marlo Mike’ Louding

Michael “Marlo Mike” Louding, who testified last year at rapper Torence “Lil Boosie” Hatch’s first-degree murder trial that he and Hatch had nothing to do with the 2009 killing of Terry Boyd in Baton Rouge, was convicted Friday of fatally shooting Boyd for money.

Hatch, 30, of Baton Rouge, was acquitted in May of hiring Louding to murder Boyd, but a different East Baton Rouge Parish jury unanimously found the 20-year-old Louding guilty of first-degree murder after deliberating for more than five hours at the 19th Judicial District Courthouse.

Several members of the jury of nine women and three men wiped tears from their eyes as the verdict was read about 6:15 p.m.

East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Dana Cummings, who prosecuted Hatch and Louding, said she feels vindicated.

“Yes I do! I absolutely do!’’ she said, smiling.

Cummings maintains Louding lied to the East Baton Rouge Parish jury that found Hatch not guilty. Hatch remains imprisoned on drug charges. Louding did not testify at his own trial, but jurors watched his videotaped police statements from May 2010 in which he confessed to shooting Boyd.

In her closing arguments to the jury earlier Friday, Cummings called Louding a “gutless wonder” and a cold-blooded hitman.

Louding, of Baton Rouge, faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison without parole in the Oct. 21, 2009, slaying of Boyd, 35, on Vermillion Drive. Louding is not eligible for the death penalty because he was only 17 when Boyd was fatally shot through a window while sitting on a sofa.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that states can no longer automatically sentence juveniles to life in prison without parole in murder cases without first holding a sentencing hearing to consider the defendant’s youth, upbringing, circumstances of the crime and other factors.

State District Judge Trudy White, who presided over Louding’s trial, scheduled a sentencing hearing for Sept. 12.

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said he hopes the judge will consider imposing “a lifetime or nearly a lifetime in prison” on Louding.

Louding also faces four other counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in a string of fatal shootings of other men that stretched over a 14-month period.

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

In his videotaped police statements, Louding also admitted killing Jackson and taking part in the murders of Thomas, Matthews and Milton.

Moore said no prosecutorial decisions will be made about those pending cases until after Louding is sentenced in the Boyd case.

Cummings was allowed to introduce “other crimes evidence” during Louding’s trial, which included the slayings of Jackson, Thomas, Matthews and Milton, and the attempted murder of Matthews’ wife, Malaeka Hulbert, on Feb. 22, 2010.

“I waited patiently until the time came. I’m happy that justice was served,” Thomas’ mother, Cassandra Thomas, said outside the courthouse.

Matthews’ mother, Nancy Booker, said “I thank God that justice has been served.”

Matthews’ wife, Malaeka Hulbert, said, “I’m satisfied with the verdict.”

Hulbert was shot in the arm when bullets came crashing through her kitchen window Feb. 22, 2010, as she and Matthews sat at the kitchen table.

Earlier Friday, Cummings argued to the jury that Hatch paid Louding $2,800 to kill Boyd because Hatch was told Boyd wanted to do him harm. She said Hatch put a $25,000 bounty on Boyd’s head.

“He (Louding) sneaks in the night, the gutless wonder. He has no conscience. He has no remorse. He gets paid for killing, but he enjoys his work,” she argued.

Cummings told the jury that Louding got a tattoo at Hatch’s house on Nov. 4, 2009, two weeks after Boyd was killed. The tattoo proclaimed, “Yo Boosie Who’s Next.”

Louding was proud of the Boyd slaying, the prosecutor said.

“He may not be as proud of it now because there are consequences, but he was proud. Proud and cold. He’s the hitman,” Cummings said.

Cummings also labeled Thomas’ killing “a Boosie hit.”

Louding’s attorney, Margaret Lagattuta, countered to the jury in her closing argument that there was no physical evidence linking Louding to Boyd’s murder, and she urged the jury not to convict solely on Louding’s videotaped confession to Baton Rouge police detectives.

Lagattuta also accused prosecutors of using their other crimes evidence “to bolster a weak case.”

Adrian Pittman, 39, of Baton Rouge, who pleaded guilty in November to a manslaughter charge in the Boyd case and admitted to being the getaway driver, testified against Louding. His plea deal calls for him to receive a 20-year prison term for truthful testimony.

Lagattuta called Pittman a “liar.”