One of two key witnesses who identified rapper Corey “C-Murder” Miller as the lone gunman in a 2002 nightclub killing in Harvey has recanted, claiming in a sworn statement that Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives pressured him to lie under threat of a criminal charge.
Miller’s attorney, Paul Barker, filed a memorandum Tuesday in 24th Judicial District Court, arguing that the newly obtained affidavit from the witness, Kenneth Jordan, warrants a hearing and, ultimately, Miller’s release.
Miller, 47, is the younger brother of Percy Miller, the rap mogul better known as Master P.
His claims of innocence, broadcast in rap albums released from the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, where he is serving a life sentence, have helped fuel interest in the case and drum up support for his cause. It’s the subject of an episode that airs Wednesday in a true-crime series on Investigations Discovery.
“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,” he says in the TV episode.
Jordan testified at Miller’s trial in 2009 that he was inside the Platinum Club on Manhattan Boulevard in the early morning of Jan. 12, 2002, when 16-year-old Steve Thomas stepped off the stage during a rap contest and was attacked by several patrons.
He told the jury that Thomas was mobbed and fighting for his life and that he never saw Miller throw any punches. But when the fracas subsided, he said, Miller stepped forward, stood over Thomas and shot him once. Jordan testified that he saw flames from the gun. The bullet struck Thomas in the heart.
But in his new affidavit, dated June 23, Jordan claims he saw a man with a dark complexion and wearing a hoodie fire the fatal shot.
“I know that the individual who I saw shoot the gun was not Corey Miller,” he states in the affidavit.
Well over 100 people remained in the club but told officers who had locked it down that they didn’t see the shooting.
Jordan had left in the chaotic aftermath of the shooting. Sheriff’s Office detectives first spoke to him more than a year later, after his newborn daughter had been found dead. The baby’s mother would later be charged and convicted in the killing, but at the time, Jordan said, he was being threatened with a criminal charge.