U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance ruled Nov. 13 to uphold C-Murder’s 2009 murder conviction.
C-Murder will continue his life sentence. Vance’s ruling upholds a state court decision, which found two witnesses’ attempts to recant testimonies to be “suspect and not reliable,” given the multiple times they identified C-Murder, real name Corey Miller, as the shooter.
Steve Thomas, 16, was shot and killed at New Orleans’ Platinum Club around 1 a.m. on Jan. 12, 2002.
The judge’s ruling cited Miller’s need to “put forth clear and convincing evidence of error in the state court’s findings of fact, which he has failed to do.” But the rapper plans to appeal Vance’s decision to a higher federal court.
After two trials, C-Murder was convicted of murder. His conviction was based on testimonies from two eyewitnesses, a security guard named Darnell Jordan who worked at Platinum Club, and a second witness named Kenneth Jordan.
Darnell Jordan testified to seeing 15-20 people assaulting Thomas and a flash from C-Murder’s hand, presumably a gunshot. Kenneth Jordan testified that celebrities were allowed to bypass metal detectors to get inside the club and identified C-Murder as the shooter from a photo lineup.
In 2018 both Darnell and Kenneth signed affidavits recanting their testimonies and accusing police investigators of pressuring them to give the statements. In 2019, a Jefferson Parish judge ruled against C-Murder and found the recantations not credible.
Celebrities like C-Murder’s brother, Master P; his ex-girlfriend, singer Monica, and reality star Kim Kardashian have advocated for C-Murder’s release, citing the recanted testimonies.
“I wanted to shed some light on a case that I’ve been working on for years…,” Kardashian wrote in a lengthy statement in August. “Corey Miller deserves a day in court to test the veracity of the recanted statements and to prove that he did not shoot Steve Thomas.”
I wanted to shed some light on a case that I’ve been working on for years…
Corey Miller has spent 21 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, and his conviction is based entirely on the testimony of two men, whom the State dragged to trial just on material witness…
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) August 3, 2023
Members of Thomas’s family slammed Kardashian for reopening a wound by advocating for C-Murder, who they say is guilty of killing the teenager.