Rapper Boosie Badazz appears in federal court to face felony gun charge | Courthouse News Service
Thursday, November 30, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Thursday, November 30, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Rapper Boosie Badazz appears in federal court to face felony gun charge

The Louisiana rapper faced identical charges in state court that were dropped, only for a federal court to pick up the same charges against him.

SAN DIEGO (CN) — Rapper Boosie Badazz appeared in federal court in San Diego on Thursday to face charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

Over objections from his lawyers that the Louisiana rapper, born Torrence Hatch Jr. and previously known as Lil Boosie, is a performer with shows lined up across the country this summer, including one scheduled Saturday in New Orleans, U.S. District Court Judge David Leshner agreed with federal prosecutors to continue Hatch's detention hearing until Tuesday.

“Your honor!” Hatch cried in the court’s holding cell before his attorneys rushed over to talk to him. 

Leshner said he didn't intend to silence Hatch, but he advised him to talk to his attorneys. 

Hatch was initially facing an identical charge in San Diego County Superior Court after his arrest in early May for a traffic stop where police found him and a companion with two loaded handguns in their car.

That charge was dismissed early Wednesday morning, but after Hatch exited the county courtroom, he was arrested by federal agents and given an identical charge in federal court.

Meghan Blanco, one of Hatch’s attorneys, called the situation “very unusual” and something that shouldn’t have happened because of the petite policy, an internal U.S. Department of Justice policy that tries to protect defendants from harassment from unnecessary second trials and multiple prosecutions. 

Damon Alimouri, Hatch’s other attorney, said that he and Blanco wanted to argue for Hatch to receive pre-trial release, but prosecutors moved to continue the hearing until Tuesday to present new information relevant to the detention hearing.

"I think some of this has to do that he's quite outspoken on social media" about the criminal justice system, including in his music and concerts, Alimouri said about Hatch.

"Ultimately, Boosie has a First Amendment right," Alimouri said.

Hatch, known for his bluey Southern drawl and his pain soaked lyrics chronicling the struggle to overcome poverty, systemic injustices afflicting Black Americans and the criminal justice system, is one of rap's most celebrated artists.

Hatch has had several prior run-ins with the law in Louisiana and Georgia.  

In 2009, Hatch pleaded guilty to a charge of marijuana and gun possession in Louisiana. In 2011, Hatch pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle drugs into prison, which added more time to his previous sentence. Hatch was also arrested in 2019 in Georgia on gun and drug possession charges.

In 2012, Hatch was acquitted in a 2009 murder case in Louisiana.   

"I wanna take this time to apologize to my kids, I'm sorry and I love y'all forever," Hatch posted to his Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon.

Categories / Criminal, Entertainment

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.