Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

C-Murder: Rapper Lives His Lyrics

Busted

Steve Thomas' obituary appeared in the Times-Picayune on Friday, January 18. Earlier that day, in the wee hours of the morning, his accused killer was busted and arraigned.

In the early-morning hours of January 18, New Orleans 8th District Police responded to a call from the House of Blues in the 200 block of Decatur Street. A small group of young black men were reportedly causing a scene outside the popular French Quarter music club, whose part owner is TV and film star Dan Aykroyd. Off-duty NOPD Detective Robert Stoltz, who was working a detail at the club, recognized one of those causing the commotion as C-Murder, whose antics on a prior occasion had earned him a lifetime ban from the premises. According to a police spokesperson, Stoltz knew about some outstanding warrants against the rapper and called the incident in to headquarters.

Corey 'C-Murder' Miller
Corey 'C-Murder' Miller

When the officers swooped in they arrested Corey. He was charged with disturbing the peace and criminal trespass, and shortly afterward they turned him over to Jefferson Parish authorities. He was initially booked on an outstanding attachment, charging him with defrauding an innkeeper. Then he was charged in connection with Thomas' death. He was formally indicted on charges of second degree murder on February 28.

The case was assigned to Judge Martha Sassone of Division K, 24th Judicial District Court, based in the Jefferson Parish Courthouse in Gretna, La. While prosecutors from the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office and Corey's lawyers spent the next few months preparing their cases, Corey remained incarcerated in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, also in Gretna, adjacent to the courthouse. He was anything but a "model prisoner." Over the next four years he would be involved in a number of incidents that piled up charges against him.

Judge Martha Sassone
Judge Martha Sassone

Sassone initially set bail at $2 million, then revoked it in late April when it was felt that allowing Corey's release might pose a serious threat to potential witnesses. His ominous-sounding stage name and his fearsome reputation were believed to have been scaring off dozens of people who might have seen the killing but were reluctant to come forward.

Reacting to his younger brother's arrest, Master P, speaking on MTV, said, "You know what, right now with C, I think he's a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When you come from the ghetto, you can't do those type of things. You can't hang with the same type of crowd you been running with. We hope that once this is said and done, people will see he wasn't involved with this. It's definitely a tragedy for our family. Hopefully this teaches kids that you can't live that type of life no more."

But, despite his vast wealth, Master P could not secure the release of his brother, and neither could anyone else. He was considered too much of a risk to the safety of others.

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