C-Murder Biography

A member of the gangsta rap group Tru along with brothers Percy "Master P" Miller, president and founder of No Limit Records, and Vyshonn "Silkk the Shocker" Miller, C-Murder (Corey Miller) was a vibrant part of the Louisiana rap scene since the mid–1990s. Following two No Limit CD releases with Tru (True, 1995; Tru 2 da Game, 1997), C-Murder released his solo debut, Life or Death, on March 17, 1998. The CD sold well as did his 1998 follow-up, Bossalinie. It was not until 2000, however, that C-Murder became a key player in the world of rap with the release of Trapped in Crime and its hit single, "Down with My N's," featuring Snoop Dogg and Magic. The success of the CD helped the rapper to launch his new label, Tru Records, and produc - tion company, Deadly Soundz. Trapped in Crime proved to be the last record C-Murder would make under "normal" studio conditions or with - out the omnipresent threat of criminal prosecution. C-Murder's first widely reported trouble with law enforcement began in March 1998 when the 27-year-old was arrested in St. John the Baptist Parish for speeding on Interstate 10. A computer check revealed the truck had been stolen and during the pat down state troopers pulled a semiautomatic handgun from C-Murder's waistband and noted he was wearing a bulletproof vest. Barred from carrying a gun due to a prior felony record, the rapper was arrested for a variety of charges including speeding, driving without a license, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful use of body armor, and possession of stolen goods worth over $500. In January 1999, C-Murder, with noted O.J. Simpson entry) defense attorney Johnnie Cochran at his side, pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed firearm and was given a sixmonth suspended jail term and a $500 fine. In exchange for the plea, the district attorney dropped the charge of unlawful use of body armor. The rapper paid an $81 speeding ticket and the charge of driving without a license was dropped as was possession of stolen property after he proved he had bought the truck at auction. CMurder's next brushes with the law would not be so easy to resolve. On June 14, 2001, C-Murder allegedly forced his way into the Baton Rouge home of a man he had argued with earlier in the day and held one person at gunpoint while he searched for his target. Baton Rouge police were holding warrants for the rapper on counts of aggravated burglary and aggravated assault with a firearm when they responded to an incident at Club Raggs at 2605 Plank Road on August 14, 2001. The problem started when security guard Daryl Jackson asked to search the rapper for a gun before letting him into the nightclub. C-Murder asked to speak to the club's owner, Norman Sparrow, who also refused his request to enter the premises without being searched. The rapper allegedly grabbed Sparrow's arm, pulled a gun and fired at the club owner, but the firearm jammed. C-Murder cleared the jam, the live round falling to the floor, then again tried to fire, but the weapon malfunctioned a second time. No shots were fired during the altercation (captured on a four-minute security video) and C-Murder left the scene. In addition to being wanted by police on two counts of attempted murder, he also faced a lawsuit filed by Sparrow and others in the club charging severe emotional anguish. Also charged in the suit were No Limit Records and various other corporate entities associated with the rapper. While out on bail for the Club Raggs confrontation, C-Murder was involved in a deadly shooting in Harvey, Louisiana. On January 12, 2002, the 30-year-old rapper was in the Club Platinum in the 900 block of Manhattan Boulevard with 300 other patrons, when an argument with 16-year-old Steve Thomas (in the club illegally) ended when C-Murder allegedly pulled a handgun and shot the unarmed teen once in the chest. Thomas was pronounced dead on arrival at the West Jefferson Medical Center. C-Murder, who exited the scene before authorities arrived, was arrested by New Orleans police six days later at about 1:00 A.M. following a disturbance at the House of Blues in the French Quarter where he had previously been barred from entering the club. The rapper was booked on a second-degree murder charge while authorities pieced together what had occurred at the Club Platinum. Witnesses, as usual in most cases involving a rapper, were initially reluctant to step forward, but several later fingered C-Murder as the shooter. In April 2002, a state judge revoked the rapper's $2 million bond after prosecutors expressed concern over the safety of potential witnesses who might testify against him at trial. Guards at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center had discovered a smuggled cell phone in C-Murder's possession allegedly used to call friends to possibly harm or influence witnesses. Later, the rapper and two sheriff 's deputies were indicted on 13 felony counts including conspiracy to introduce contraband into a correctional facility and conspiracy to commit public bribery in connection with the smuggled cell phone. The contraband indictment was later tossed. While awaiting trial, True Dawgs was released on April 30, 2002, and although the rapper was paired on the album with guest stars includ - ing Snoop Dogg, Master P, Bizzy Bone, and da Brat, it sold only a disappointing 95,000 units. In September 2003, the unfortunately named defendant's second-degree murder trial began in the Jefferson Parish Courthouse in Gretna with the rapper denying any involvement in the deadly shooting. According to prosecutors, C-Money and his entourage first beat Steve Thomas before the rapper took it to the next level and shot the teen. A security guard, living out of state since the shooting, testified he had witnessed the rapper shoot Thomas, who ironically had illegally entered the club that night in hopes of seeing his idol whose posters and pictures plastered his bedroom walls. Another witness told the court that she heard the rapper tell Thomas, "You don't know who the fuck I am," to which the teen responded, "I don't care who you are." The ensuing beat down by at least 15 of the rapper's associates culminated with C-Murder producing a gun and shooting the youth in the heart. Defense witnesses, however, countered that they were certain C-Murder had not fired a weapon corroborating the rapper's contention that he was talking to the club's disc jockey at the time of the shooting. On September 30, 2003, a jury deliberated 3 hours and 40 minutes before returning a verdict of guilty which carries a mandatory life prison sentence in Louisiana. Days later prior to the formal sentencing, jurors were called back into the courtroom for a closed door session in which it was determined that the prosecution had withheld information that several of its key witnesses had criminal records. In April 2004, state judge Martha Sassone ordered a new trial for C-Murder, but rejected his request to post a $2 million bond to secure his freedom because he was still facing a trial for the Baton Rouge nightclub incident in August 2001. In March 2006, the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the lower court ruling and scrapped the rapper's second-degree murder conviction clearing the way for a new trial. While awaiting trial, C-Murder was placed on $500,000 bond, outfitted with an ankle monitor, and placed under house arrest in his residence in Kenner. Under the conditions of his bond, the rapper was barred from drinking alcohol and agreed to both a house curfew of 10:00 P.M. to 6:00 A.M. and the further condition that he remain in Jefferson and Orleans parishes at all other times. He was released from the home incarceration program in July 2006 over the objections of prosecutors who noted numerous instances when his monitoring gear lost track of him. C-Murder's limited freedom lasted one month before an appeals court ruled that the judge who removed him from home incarceration had done so improperly. His home incarceration privileges were revoked in March 2009 when it was discovered the rapper had violated the terms of the order and he was ordered to remain in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center until his retrial for the murder of Steve Thomas. Remarkably, during the years C-Murder spent awaiting trial he was able to release three albums (The Truest $#!@ I Ever Said, 2005; The Tru Story, 2006; Screamin' 4 Vengeance, 2007) all extolling the gangsta lifestyle. C-Murder, however, still had to face trial on the two counts of attempted murder stemming from the August 2001 incident at the Club Raggs in Baton Rouge. On May 27, 2009, one day after jury selection began and over eight years since he attempted to shoot the club's owner and the security guard, the 38-year-old rapper pleaded no contest on May 27, 2009 and under a plea deal accepted a sentence of 10 years in prison. Under the terms of the agreement, C-Murder was to be given credit for time served in jail and under house arrest in the Thomas case meaning the rapper's punishment in the Club Raggs case could be completed in months. Meanwhile, the court ordered a stay in the club owner's civil suit against C-Money. Finally, in August 2009 Corey "CMurder" Miller was retried for the Thomas mur - der of January 2002. Once again the bouncer at the now-closed Club Platinum testified that he saw the rapper shoot the teenager as some 15 men beat and kicked him. Another witness, his credibility shaken upon admitting under defense questioning that he cut a deal with prosecutors to dismiss a carnal knowledge charge against him in exchange for his testimony, told of seeing a beaten Thomas balled up on the floor as C-Murder stood over him and fired at point-blank range. Shortly before 2:00 P.M. on August 12, 2009, a jury in a 10–2 vote found C-Murder guilty of second-degree murder after deliberating for more than 13 hours over two days in contentious sessions marked by jurors yelling, crying, and becoming physically ill. At one point, 9 of the 12 jurors voted for conviction, one vote short of a legal verdict in Louisiana. Their impasse continued and threatened to end the trial in a hung jury before the judge asked them to continue their deliberations. C-Murder was automatically sentenced to life in prison. The rapper's attorney in both trials, unpaid for over three years, split with his client after the verdict necessitating C-Murder to hire another lawyer for the inevitable appeal. In late August 2009, the rapper was formally sentenced to 10 years for the attempted murder of the nightclub owner and bouncer in Baton Rouge with the term to run concurrent with his life sentence.

Tags: USA, Rapper, 1970-1979

Comments