Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

C-Murder: Rapper Lives His Lyrics

Threatening Witnesses

Not long after his incarceration began, it was announced that Corey had allegedly conspired with two Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office deputies, who doubled as prison guards, to smuggle a cell phone and its charger into Corey's cell. According to Assistant District Attorney Douglas Freese, who was assigned to prosecute the case, the high-profile prisoner wasn't simply planning to use the cell phone to chit-chat with friends and family: he was allegedly intending to use it to locate and intimidate potential witnesses in the murder case against him. Normally pay phones are available, on a limited basis, to inmates of Jefferson Parish Prison. They can call friends, family and their lawyers, but conversations on the pay phones are routinely monitored by prison authorities (except in cases where attorney-client privileges apply). Not so with cellphones, which operate on outside frequencies.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry

The two deputies accused of helping Corey acquire the phone were fired by Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee and the phone and its charger were confiscated. The three of them were later charged with conspiracy to introduce contraband into the jail and bribery. The two deputies were charged with malfeasance in office and later sentenced to two years each in prison.

Corey admitted to being at the Platinum Club on the night of the shooting but denied being involved in the incident. His chief attorney, Ronald Rakosky denied that his client was planning to use the cell phone to intimidate witnesses.

Several months later, adding to Corey's woes, a prisoner of the correctional facility who claimed to have spoken with Corey and whose name was being withheld by authorities, said the rapper admitted killing Thomas in one of their conversations. The inmate, referred to only as "John Doe," told a pre-trial hearing before Judge Sassone that Corey also told him that he knew where Freese lived and he knew that the Assistant DA had children. Corey, according to the inmate, said he was "going to reach out and touch him" (Freese). When asked by Rakosky what he thought the statement meant, the inmate replied, "The statement speaks for itself," implying that Corey was threatening harm against Freese and/or his children.

The unnamed inmate told the hearing that Corey made this statement shortly after he had a visit from Master P in June. He claimed Corey told him that he was at the Platinum Club on the night of January 12 and that, during the argument with Thomas, Corey grabbed a gun from one of his nearby friends and shot Thomas in the chest with it. "I'm not some studio gangster," the inmate quoted Corey as saying.

Regarding the cellphone, the inmate said Corey told him he wanted to use the phone to tell potential witnesses that it "would either go smooth or it would go full-fledged," the latter term being understood to mean that a witness could be killed for testifying against him. Under cross examination by Rakosky, the inmate testified that he was being held on forgery and drug charges and, because of his criminal past, he could get a life sentence. He admitted to hoping that, by ratting out Corey, it would weigh in his favor for plea bargaining a lighter sentence. However, he said he received no official promises one way or another.

Also at the pre-trial hearing, Freese showed the judge the videotape of Corey attempting to fire his weapon at the club owner and bouncer in Baton Rouge nearly a year earlier. Sassone ruled that the tape was proper to admit into evidence at the jury trial. Rakosky argued, unsuccessfully, that since no shots were fired in the Baton Rouge incident, the tape was irrelevant and would be prejudicial to his client.

After the hearing, Freese said steps were being taken to ensure his safety and that of his family. Corey was then forbidden to have visits from friends and family and he could only communicate to them through letters which could be read by authorities.

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