Prosecutors may play rapper's lyrics at trial

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A judge has ruled that prosecutors can play some of Baton Rouge rapper Torrence "Lil Boosie" Hatch's violence-laden lyrics at his first-degree murder trial scheduled to begin Monday.

The Advocate reports attorneys for Hatch said they will ask the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge to review state District Judge Mike Erwin's ruling. The judge refused to delay the start of the trial.

Hatch is accused of hiring Michael "Marlo Mike" Louding to kill Terry Boyd, who was shot to death through a window while inside his Vermillion Drive home Oct. 21, 2009. Louding also is charged with first-degree murder in the killing.

Prosecutor Dana Cummings told Erwin she considers some of Hatch's rap lyrics "admissions" and will use them to demonstrate Hatch's "intent, motive and plan."

One of Hatch's attorneys, Martin Regan, told the judge the defense stipulates that the voice on the recordings is Hatch's but added, "We're not stipulating to the meaning of anything."

In one of Hatch's songs, titled "187," he refers to himself as the John Gotti of the south side and says, "I'm the reason the murder rate sky high." He also says, "Whoever try to play me, they dead now."

Baton Rouge police Detective Elvin Howard testified during Tuesday's pretrial hearing that "187" is California police code for murder. There were no less than a dozen East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputies and state corrections officers in the courtroom.

Louding is mentioned in several of Hatch's songs and is pictured in at least two of his videos on YouTube. In the song "Lime Light," Hatch says, "Marlo Mike up in the back seat beggin' for a body."

Jason Williams, who also represents Hatch, said after the hearing that the lyrics prosecutors plan to play have "nothing to do with this case."

Louding, 18, is charged in five other slayings, including the February 2009 shooting death of rival rapper Chris "Nussie" Jackson. Jackson had called Hatch a rat in his song "Street Gossip." Hatch is not charged in Jackson's death.

The jurors in Hatch's case will be anonymous, meaning they will be identified in court and court documents only by number.

Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty against Hatch, meaning he would be sentenced to life in prison if convicted as charged.

Hatch, who already was imprisoned on drug charges, pleaded guilty in November to additional drug charges and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Hatch is being held in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. His attorneys would like him moved to Parish Prison for the trial.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)