News

Mar 30, 2012 9:15 AM by AP

Anonymous jury planned for Lil Boosie trial

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The rarely used practice of an anonymous jury will be used for the high-profile first-degree murder trial of rapper Torrence "Lil Boosie" Hatch, court officials say.

Hatch, accused in an alleged murder-for-hire in 2009, is scheduled to begin April 30. The Advocate reported.

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said he can't recall an anonymous jury in a parish case since 1987, when three Colombians were tried for the machine-gun slaying in Baton Rouge of drug smuggler-turned-government informant Adler "Barry" Seal.

Hatch, 29, is accused of hiring Michael "Marlo Mike" Louding to kill Terry Boyd, 35, who was shot to death through a window of his house Oct. 21, 2009.

Louding, 18, and Adrian Pittman, 37, also are charged with first-degree murder in Boyd's death. Louding is charged in five other slayings.

Hatch's attorneys did not oppose his office's request for an anonymous jury, Moore said. He said jurors will be identified only by number "out of fairness and assistance to the jurors."

"It's just something we thought would be better for the case and the jurors," he said outside the 19th Judicial District Courthouse downtown after a status hearing in Hatch's murder case.

Hatch's attorneys dismissed any suggestion that threats have been made in the case.

"There are no safety issues," Jason Williams, one of those lawyers, told reporters.

"There's no evidence of any threats against any potential jurors in this case," added Martin Regan, who also represents Hatch. "We want to get a fair jury."

Williams said Hatch is "ready for this day in court."

"He's good. He's frustrated," Williams said.

Hatch, 29, is accused of hiring Michael "Marlo Mike" Louding to kill Terry Boyd, 35, who was shot to death through a window of his house Oct. 21, 2009.

Louding, 18, and Adrian Pittman, 37, also are charged with first-degree murder in Boyd's death. Louding is charged in five other slayings.

Moore said his office is not seeking the death penalty against Hatch, meaning he would be sentenced to life in prison if convicted as charged.

Hatch also gave a handwriting sample Wednesday, at the request of prosecutors.

Moore would say only that "it's part of our ongoing preparation for trial."

The handwriting does not relate to the state's alleged murder-for-hire conspiracy, Williams said. He suggested the issue may relate to rap lyrics.

Hatch, who already was imprisoned on drug charges, pleaded guilty in November to additional drug charges and was sentenced to eight years in prison. He is in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.

»Comments

»Topics in this article

Top Videos

1 2 3 4

Most Popular