In May 2012, Torrance Hatch was acquitted of the October 2009 murder of Terry Boyd, who was apparently shot dead by a hit man. Although Hatch wasn't accused of pulling the trigger, it was claimed that he had ordered the murder. He was acquitted when the youth who had implicated him repudiated his testimony claiming he had been pressurized by the police.
Part of the State's case was that Hatch - the Boca Raton rap artist who performs as Lil' Boosie - had celebrated the killing in "187", and after legal argument, the jury was allowed to hear the offending lyrics. Offending is the word, as with so much rap, "187" is heavy on profanity, and light on quality. As the Los Angeles Times reported:
"Yo Marlo. He drive a Monte Carlo. I want that [expletive] dead."
Two minutes later, the expert said, Hatch rapped that he was the "John Gotti of the south side" and added: "I want that [expletive] dead today."
Just before midnight, he allegedly rapped: "Please tell him it's from Boosie when you hit that [expletive] up."
The Marlo alluded to is Michael Louding, who at the age of 17 is said to have confessed to no less than six murders. The expert witness alluded to was attempting to link Boosie to the murder of Terry Boyd by suggesting Boosie's recording coincided with the time of his death.
The defense pointed out however that the lyrics were recorded long before the murder of Terry Boyd, that there was no history between the two men, and that Louding had also been accused of killing a friend of Boosie. The rapper was cleared by the jury in one hour, without taking the stand or calling any evidence.
The fact that Boosie was brought to trial on such slim evidence - and on an apparently induced confession from a man who can hardly be described as a reliable witness - could have serious implications for anyone writing a song, a poem or even reporting on a murder, indeed any crime, shortly after it is committed.