C-Murder: Rapper Lives His Lyrics
Retrial & Verdict
Updated By Cora Van Olson
When the retrial began on August 5, 2009, Miller was serving 10 years for two counts of attempted second degree murder for a 2001 incident in which he fired shots from a semiautomatic pistol at the owner and bouncer of a night club who refused to allow Miller entry to the business with the gun. The entire incident was captured by the security camera and was posted on the Internet by the web site AllHipHop.com. Miller pleaded no contest to the charges on May 27, 2009, and was sentenced to 10 years with credit for time served.
The jury in the retrial heard the prosecution's case against Miller, but did not hear about the no contest plea Miller entered in May, nor did they see the security video mentioned above. The defense's case, arguing mistaken identity, concluded August 9. The jury were sequestered in a hotel that night and returned early on August 10 to continue deliberations. When the jury returned, stating that they were deadlocked, Judge Liljeberg sent them back to deliberate, requesting that they return with a verdict. They returned 3 hours later with a 10-2 verdict of guilty; but the judge, suspecting that the decisive juror might have changed votes merely to end the trial, sent the jurors back to further deliberate and reconsider. The jury of seven women and five men returned again with a 10-2 verdict of guilty. Had the verdict been only 9-3, the judge could have declared a mistrial, forcing the prosecution to retry Miller.
On Aug 11, 2009, Miller was sentenced to life in prison.
Following the announcement of the sentence, Miller's attorney filed a motion to appeal the verdict to the Court of Appeals.
After the trial, though, first-time juror Mary Jacob, said in an interview that she had been pressured by other jurors to vote for a conviction and had been verbally abused during the deliberations. She described a 20-year-old Xavier University student on the jury who had also been particularly abused for her vote to acquit, "They literally made this 20-year-old girl so violently ill, she was shaking so bad. She ran into the bathroom. She was throwing her guts up. She couldn't function anymore. That's when I decided, the judge don't want to listen to me, doesn't want to listen to us? I told them, 'You want him to be guilty? He's guilty; now let's get the hell out of here.'"
Jacob, executive director of a group that advocates for families and the disabled, said of the woman who voted to acquit Miller, "This thing had to come to an end for this girl's health, her sanity. I believe what happened to Steve Thomas on the floor of the Platinum Club happened to her verbally."
Another juror, who voted to convict Miller, confirmed Jacob's claim. That juror, who asked that her name be withheld, said the deliberations degenerated into yelling, crying and "people getting violently ill and vomiting."
Ernest Johnson, president of the NAACP's Louisiana chapter, requested in a letter to Chief Justice Catherine Kimble "a full investigation of this entire case, the immediate removal of the trial judge, the appointment of a new judge from outside the 24th Judicial District to hear all post-trial motions, and the immediate release of Mr. Miller from prison pending a review of this entire matter because justice delayed is justice denied."