Nine years after telling authorities that C-Murder shot and killed a teenager at a nightclub in Harvey, La. in 2002, one of two key witnesses has recanted his statement to authorities.
The New Orleans Advocate first reported the news on Tuesday afternoon (June 26) that Kenneth Jordan claimed in a sworn affidavit that he was coerced by detectives of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) to identify C-Murder as the shooter.
“I know that the individual who I saw shoot the gun was not Corey Miller,” Jordan states in his affidavit. At the time that the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office officials questioned him about the shooting, it was in 2003, a year after the incident took place, and Jordan was mourning the death of his newborn baby. The child’s mother would go on to be charged and convicted for the infant’s murder, but Jordan claims that authorities told him he could face charges in the child’s death if he didn’t comply with their demands.
“I was distraught and scared,” Jordan reportedly says. “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.”
On the evening of the nightclub shootout, Corey Miller, better known as C-Murder, and several other people allegedly got into a fight with 16-year-old Steve Thomas. At some point, a dark-skinned man in a hoodie stood up and shot Thomas through the heart. He later died.
C-Murder, who was 30 at the time and is now 47, was convicted by a jury in 2003 for Thomas’ murder. The conviction was later tossed out and retried in 2009, when he was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Jordan wasn’t required to testify in 2003, but in 2009, JPSO allegedly incarcerated him on a material witness bond. At that time, Jordan claims, he repeatedly told police that his identification of Miller in 2003 was wrong, but he says they still forced him to testify.
“They kept saying, ‘It’s on black and white now, too late,’” Jordan says in the affidavit.
Now, Miller’s attorney Paul Barker is fighting for his freedom. He’s petitioning the 24th Judicial District Court to hear Jordan’s statements, and ultimately release C-Murder. He’s also filed an “actual innocence” claim, which would compel a judge to declare that Jordan recanting his identification is concrete evidence that the prosecution has no case against Corey Miller.
C-Murder has continuously proclaimed his innocence through albums released from jail. Interviews with the rapper and Kenneth Jordan will be featured in an episode of Investigations Discovery that debuts on Wednesday (June 27).
See 60 Hip-Hop Albums Turning 20 in 2018