Louding’s account disputed
A detective testified Tuesday that Michael “Marlo Mike’’ Louding “flat out’’ lied to jurors Monday in the first-degree murder trial of rapper Torence “Lil Boosie” Hatch.
Louding told authorities in 2010 that Hatch paid him $2,800 to kill Terry Boyd in 2009, but Louding testified Monday that he and Hatch had nothing to do with the shooting death of Boyd.
Baton Rouge police Sgt. Chris Johnson, under intense cross-examination Tuesday by Hatch’s attorney Jason Williams, denied much of what 19-year-old Louding told the jury Monday.
“That’s not correct,” Johnson said of Louding’s assertion that Johnson told Louding in a May 2010 interview that he could receive the death penalty if he did not cooperate with authorities.
Louding is charged with first-degree murder in Boyd’s death and faces murder charges in the deaths of five other people, but because he was 17 at the time of Boyd’s killing on Oct. 21, 2009, Louding is ineligible for the death penalty.
“I didn’t say that,” Johnson told Williams after Williams said Louding accused the detective of threatening to arrest his mother and stepfather.
“It never happened,” Johnson said of Louding’s claim that East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III was in the interview room with Johnson and fellow police detective Elvin Howard.
Howard also testified Tuesday that he did not threaten Louding in any way.
“I never told Michael Louding that,” Johnson continued when Williams said Louding testified detectives told him Moore wanted Hatch “bad.”
Johnson, who also denied telling Louding that Hatch wanted to kill him, testified Louding implicated Hatch in Boyd’s killing and said Louding was concerned for his own safety.
“Oh really?” Williams shot back.
“Yes really,” Johnson replied.
Johnson did acknowledge lying to Louding in the 2010 interview when he told him witnesses had put Louding at the murder scene. The detective characterized what he did as a police tactic to get Louding to come clean.
“That’s far from the truth,” Johnson said when Williams accused police of going after Hatch because he is a high-profile celebrity.
Johnson and Howard both testified Tuesday that Hatch was not a target of the multi-agency task force formed on April 26, 2010, to investigate a series of unsolved homicides in the city.
Johnson came under fire from Williams when Johnson acknowledged that many hours of Louding’s police interrogation at Louisiana State Police headquarters were not taped. Johnson said it is not Police Department procedure to tape interviews and added it would be “lagniappe” to have an entire interview taped.
“There are six people who are dead. Six families who are grieving. You didn’t think it was important enough to tape-record his whole statement?” Williams asked.
After court, Williams continued to pound away at Johnson.
“To say his (Louding’s) statement is ‘lagniappe’ is despicable,” Williams told reporters.
As for Johnson’s admission that he intentionally lied to Louding in an effort to get him to talk, Williams charged, “If he’s a good liar in the police station, he’s a good liar in the courthouse.”
Williams also pressed Howard in court, asking what “magic” Howard used to get Louding to confess his involvement in the killing of six people after Louding initially denied any involvement.
“I have no idea what magic I have … but I have it,” the detective said, drawing rare laughter in the packed courtroom.
Prosecutors, who are not seeking the death penalty in Hatch’s case, have called 22 witnesses to date. Testimony will enter its fifth day Wednesday in state District Judge Mike Erwin’s courtroom.
Prosecutors laid the groundwork Tuesday for the eventual introduction of phone and computer evidence, including some of Hatch’s gangsta rap lyrics, by calling several law enforcement officers to the stand to talk about the June 4, 2010, search of Hatch’s home.
Several computers were seized during the search, which occurred the day after Louding testified before an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury.
Boyd, 35, was fatally shot as he sat on a sofa in a house on Vermillion Street.
Adrian Pittman, 38, of Baton Rouge, also is charged with first-degree murder in the killing.
Hatch, 29, is serving an eight-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in November to conspiring to smuggle drugs and other illegal contraband into Dixon Correctional Institute and the Louisiana State Penitentiary.