C-Murder Witness Recants Testimony, Says He Was Pressured Into Identifying Rapper as Shooter
A key witness who identified rapper Corey "C-Murder" Miller as the shooter in a 2002 Louisiana nightclub killing has recanted his testimony, saying it was not actually Miller who he saw shoot a…
A key witness who identified rapper Corey “C-Murder” Miller as the shooter in a 2002 Louisiana nightclub killing has recanted his testimony, saying it was not actually Miller who he saw shoot a 16-year-old concertgoer.
According to Kenneth Jordan, in a sworn statement, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives pressured him to lie under oath, or else he would face a criminal charge, The New Orleans Advocate first reported.
Miller, 47, is the younger brother of Percy “Master P” Miller. He is serving a life sentence in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola after a jury voted 10-2 in 2009 to convict him of killing Steven Thomas.
Thomas was killed after sneaking into the Platinum Club in New Orleans. When he stepped off stage during a rap contest, he was attacked by a group of men and shot. Soon thereafter, Miller was arrested and charged with Thomas’ death.
“I know the individual that I saw shoot the gun was not Corey Miller,” said Jordan in an affidavit filed June 23 in 24th Judicial District Court records, a copy of which was obtained by Billboard.
More than 100 people who were questioned at the nightclub after the incident told police they had not seen the shooting. Jordan had left the crime scene and was only questioned over a year later, after his newborn daughter was found dead. The baby’s mother was later charged and convicted with manslaughter in the child’s death, according to The Times-Picayune, but since the mother was only 16 when the baby was born the detectives allegedly used that to threaten Jordan with a 10-year-sentence if he did not testify against Miller. (The age of consent in Louisiana is 17.)
Jordan also reportedly recanted in a television episode of a true-crime series Reasonable Doubt that airs Wednesday on Investigation Discovery.
“I was distraught and scared,” Jordan claims in the affidavit. “JPSO officers told me that if I testified against Corey Miller I could ‘go home’; they told me what to say; they fed me facts about the fight and details about the DJ and the dance party, none of which I really knew.”
Jordan was not asked to testify in Miller’s first trial in 2003. But when a trial judge threw out the jury’s guilty verdict because prosecutors withheld information about a witness’ criminal background, he was brought onboard the 2009 retrial after being brought in from Atlanta and held on a material witness bond. Between the trials, Jordan claims Jefferson Parish deputies harassed him and his family and refused to listen to his assertions that his previous claims were false, saying it was too late for him to change his story.
“If I could turn back the hands of time, I wouldn’t have did it. In that moment it felt like that’s what I had to do,” Jordan reportedly says in the TV episode.
Jordan’s testimony at Miller’s 2009 trial was supported by a security guard at the club named Darnell Jordan, who told the court he didn’t see a gun in Miller’s hand but saw a muzzle flash at the end of Miller’s arm that was pointed at Thomas on the ground, according to The Times-Picayune. But, according to The Advocate, in the TV episode, Darnell Jordan — who is not related to Kenneth Jordan — also seems to recant, saying he doesn’t believe Miller fired the shot but states he was involved in the fight that led up to the shooting.
In the episode, Darnell Jordan reportedly recalls grabbing Miller during the fight so that his shirt lifted and showed he was not carrying a gun in his waistband.
Miller’s attorney, Paul Barker, is now arguing this development warrants a hearing and is just cause for Miller’s release.
In a memorandum filed Tuesday, Barker wrote, “On countless occasions (both prior to making his statement and prior to testifying at trial), Mr. Jordan told members of law enforcement and prosecution that his 2003 recorded statement to the JPSO officers was not true, that the person he saw commit the shooting was definitely not Corey Miller, and that he did not want to lie under oath about Corey’s involvement.”
He continued, “At no time during the 15+ years of proceedings in this tortured case has the state once disclosed this information to Mr. Miller himself, or to Mr. Miller’s attorneys or any other member of Mr. Miller’s defense team.”
As well, Barker is reasserting an “actual innocence” claim that would require a judge to rule on whether Jordan’s recantation is new, conclusive evidence that undermines the state’s case.
Miller’s last appeal was denied in 2011. He was ordered last year by a Jefferson Parish judge to pay Thomas’ family $1.15 million.
Miller has released four albums from prison, using his music as a means to promote his claims of innocence.
The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office could not be reached for comment.