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RAPPERS’ DAY IN COURT
C-Murder’s Lawyers Press for New Trial, Mystikal Sentenced
It wasn’t a good day for two former members of Master P’s No Limit army.

His younger brother, rapper C-Murder, whose real name is Corey Miller, was convicted in September of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a teenage fan inside a nightclub in suburban New Orleans, and now his attorneys are pressing for a new trial. Meanwhile, his one-time No Limit labelmate Mystikal received a six-year sentence for forcing his hair stylist to perform sex acts in a Baton Rouge courtroom.

Miller has yet to be sentenced, but the charge carries a mandatory life term.

Miller's defense lawyer Ronald Rakosky questioned Christina Langlois, who works in the Louisiana State Police criminal records division, about the criminal record of Tenika Rankins, who testified in C-Murder's trial that the rapper probably was the gunman. Rakosky has filed a motion claiming prosecutors failed to tell the defense that Rankins' felony theft arrest had been expunged, possibly in exchange for her testimony against the rapper. The lawyer also says a court clerk overheard three jurors discussing an unrelated Baton Rouge case in which Miller allegedly tried to shoot a nightclub owner. Miller has not been formally charged in that case, which was not part of the testimony in the murder trial.

Miller has been in jail since Jan. 19, 2002, a week after 16-year-old Steve Thomas was shot to death inside the now-defunct Club Platinum in Harvey. Miller has said he was inside the club but denied killing Thomas.

C-Murder's first recordings came in a trio called TRU, which had a 1995 hit "I'm Bout It, Bout It.'' His first solo record, 1998's Life or Death, sold nearly 1 million copies, but sales sank for the four albums that followed.

In Baton Rouge, Michael Tyler, aka Grammy-nominated rapper Mystikal, was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday for forcing his hair stylist to perform sex acts. The 33-year-old rapper, who pleaded guilty to sexual battery, was taken from court in handcuffs.

The victim accused Tyler and two bodyguards of forcing her to perform oral sex after they accused her of stealing $80,000 worth of his checks. She denied stealing any money.

Judge Tony Marabella, who saw a videotape that the men made of the acts, said the victim had been "terrorized.''

Tyler also pleaded guilty to extortion, and earlier received five years probation on that count.

Tyler has paid the woman $350,000, $300,000 of it borrowed from his record label, according to a letter in court records. It said the money and his plea show he is "continuing to try to make up to all involved for the distress'' he caused.

Mystikal's Tarantula was nominated for a best rap album Grammy in 2003.

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