- Associated Press - Friday, May 11, 2012

BATON ROUGE, LA. (AP) - A defense attorney for the rapper known as “Lil Boosie,” who is on trial for a murder charge, says violent imagery and lyrics in music are not evidence of a crime.

During closing arguments Friday, defense attorney Jason Williams said the prosecution of the rapper, whose real name is Torence Hatch, was influenced by the nature of his music. Williams says the violent imagery is part of a branding effort meant to sell records.

The 29-year-old Hatch is already serving an eight-year prison term on separate drug charges.

Prosecutors say he hired Michael “Marlo Mike” Louding to kill 35-year-old Terry Boyd, who was shot to death through a window while he was inside his home in 2009. Hatch faces life in prison if convicted.

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