Jury selection has begun in the Lil Boosie murder trial, and the rapper's celebrity status is already having an impact on the trial.
More than 700 East Baton Rouge Parish, La., residents received jury duty summonses in the Lil Boosie murder trial when there are usually 500 for a typical trial, WAFB in Baton Rouge reported.
Lil Boosie, 29, real name Torrance Hatch, faces first-degree murder charges for allegedly hiring a hitman to kill Terry Boyd in what prosecutors contend was a dispute over turf.
Extra security has also been brought in for the trial, WAFB reported.
The 12 jurors will be sequestered and security at the 19th Judicial District Courthouse is going to be "heavy," The Advocate reported.
Jury selection is underway a week after Judge Mike Erwin ruled that Lil Boosie's lyrics can be used by the prosecution to make their case.
Prosecutors want the words "187" and "murk," which mean murder, and "cake," meaning money, used in the case, BET reported. The words are used in the Lil Boosie song, "187."
Erwin is allowing only one Lil Boosie song to be played at the trial and prosecutors have to call a hip-hop expert to the stand to interpret the lyrics, according to BET.
Lil Boosie denies the murder charges. He is accused of hiring Michael Louding, a.k.a. Marlo Mike, to murder Boyd in 2009.
Lil Boosie proclaimed his innocence in June 2010.
Loudig is accused of six other murders in the Baton Rouge area, NBC 33 TV reported.
Baton Rouge Police Det. Alvin Howard said Loudig confessed to the murder and that Lil Boosie paid him $2,800 to commit the killing, the TV station reported.
Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty against Lil Boosie, so the rapper is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison, if convicted.
The Lil Boosie murder trial is just the latest in Hatch's legal problems.
He's already in a Louisiana state prison on drug charges after receiving an 8-year sentence in November.
Lil Boosie has also pleaded to marijuana possession and also faces charges of possession with intent to distribute narcotics, conspiracy to commit possession with intent to distribute narcotics and conspiracy to introduce contraband into a penal institution.
Lil Boosie claims he is innocent of those charges as well.
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