C-Murder: Rapper Lives His Lyrics
Recanting & Special Favors
Less than two months later, on December 12, another surprise was sprung. One of the key prosecution witnesses, Eloise Matthews, was now saying that she saw someone other than Corey with the gun on the night of the Thomas murder and that she had only been saying what she thought the police wanted to hear. She said she tried to tell them it was a man known as "Calliope Slim" who had the gun, but "the officers did not want to hear that." She admitted seeing Corey in the group of men punching and kicking Thomas but denied he was the shooter. When asked by Freese why she didn't reveal the information about "Calliope Slim" when she testified at the trial, she replied that no one had asked her. Matthews did, however, reveal that she had gotten threatening phone calls warning her not to testify.
Corey's attorneys were claiming that some of the prosecution witnesses had criminal records which the prosecution had withheld from the defense. Had they known this at the trial, Rakosky maintained, they could have used this information to discredit the witnesses and their credibility. The defense team also argued that the authorities agreed to do favors for prosecution witnesses in exchange for their favorable testimony, among which included the expunging of witnesses' records of criminal activity.
Rakosky said that another prosecution witness, Matthews' friend Tenkia Rankins, had a prior conviction for shoplifting that was expunged, implying that it might have been done in exchange for her testimony. Freese countered that he would have had no way of knowing about the conviction if the record had been expunged. Rakosky also told the hearing that Matthews had a felony theft arrest and that fact was also withheld from the defense.
Freese countered that the allegations were untrue. "During the trial, Mr. Miller tried to evade responsibility for his actions but twelve jurors disregarded that attempt. What we are seeing now is simply more of the same." He also said he expected to call witnesses to rebut the defense allegations when hearings resumed on January 15, 2004.
It was also revealed that Matthews had a shoplifting conviction and was placed in a diversionary program aimed at first-time offenders giving them a chance to clear their name. Freese claimed the defense knew about this, but Rakosky countered that she had been kicked out of the program and the prosecution never informed the defense of this.
Also at the hearing, Verrett Johnson, one of the Platinum Club owners, testified that security guard Darnell Jordan told him at the time he didn't see the shooting. This also ran counter to what was said at the trial when Jordan testified that he saw Corey fire the shot.
The court then recessed for the holidays, with hearings to resume on January 15.