C-Murder Gets New Trial, New Judge

New Orleans rapper Corey “C-Murder” Miller’s murder trial has been delayed again after presiding Judge Martha Sassone was defeated in the November 4 runoff for judge in the 24th Judicial District Court. According to The Times-Picayune, Judge Sassone set a January hearing for Miller, which comes two weeks after her final day as judge in Gretna, where Miller is standing trial for second-degree murder.

Sassone was defeated by Ellen Kovach, who sharply criticized Sassone’s handling of Miller’s case during her bid for a seat on the 24th Judicial Court.

During the elections, jury selection was supposed to have started in Miller’s murder case, but Miller’s lawyer Ron Rakosky sought had the trial delayed.

He argued that Sassone was seeking reelection and that comments made by her rival, Ellen Kovach, would taint potential jurors.

Kovach accused Sassone of sharing birthday cake in court with Miller and claimed that the defendant was “getting away with more than murder” in campaign advertisements.

She was reprimanded by the state Judicial Campaign Oversight Committee for violating ethic rules, due to the possibility that she could end up being the judge presiding over Miller’s case.

Because she defeated Sassone, Kovach has stated that she will not preside over Miller’s case due to her criticism of Sassone during the election.

Now, it could be weeks, or months, before a new judge is selected to preside over Miller’s second murder trial.

Miller, 37, was convicted of shooting 16-year-old Steve Thomas inside a now-defunct, Harvey, Louisiana nightclub.

The rapper was convicted of the shooting in 2003, but after a series of hearing, the conviction was overturned.

The decision was upheld by the state’s Supreme Court in 2006, after it was learned that prosecutors expunged the records of three of their witnesses to bolster their credibility.

Miller was freed on a $500,000 bond and was put under monitored house arrest, but was granted limited release, so he could to promote an album and a book to pay for legal fees.

He was ordered back into house arrest on July 1, 2008.

If convicted, Miller faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.