Rapper C-Murder civilly liable for teenager’s death, judge rules

By Paul Purpura, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on July 16, 2013 at 12:37 PM, updated July 16, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Corey Miller, the rapper known as C-Murder when he shot and killed a teen-ager in a Harvey nightclub, was found liable for the youth’s death Tuesday. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed against Miller by the parents of the late Steve Thomas, 16, of Avondale.

Miller, 42, of New Orleans, is serving a life sentence in prison for second-degree murder in the Jan. 12, 2002, killing at the now-closed Platinum Club in Harvey. Delores and George Thomas filed the wrongful death lawsuit in March 2002, about a week after Miller was indicted by a Jefferson Parish grand jury. They sued Miller, the Platinum Club and its owner, Travis Mumphrey, and Miller’s record label and apparel businesses.

The couple seeks unspecified damages. A trial date, to determine whether and how much Miller must pay Thomas’ parents, has not been set.

On Tuesday, however, Judge Glenn Ansardi of the 24th Judicial District Court found that Miller bears civil liability. The ruling was expected because Miller’s attorney Roy Maughan Jr. of Baton Rouge, did not challenge liability. Because Miller was convicted in the criminal case, a civil jury would likely reach the same conclusion in deciding civil liability, said Maughan, who did not attend Tuesday’s hearing.

“A judgment against him in this proceeding is of little consequence to him,” Maughan said. “What can you take from a man who has lost his liberty?”

Maughan cautioned, however, that their inaction on the question of civil liability is only an admission that Miller was convicted of murder, not an admission of guilt. Miller maintains his innocence, Maughan said.

With liability decided, the civil trial will focus only on the question of whether the Thomases should be awarded damages and if so, how much, the Thomas’ attorney Trey Mustian said. “It just makes the trial easier,” Mustian said after Tuesday’s hearing.

Read more here: http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/07/rapper_c-murder_civilly_liable.html#incart_river

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