SAN DIEGO (CN) — Rapper Boosie Badazz pleaded not guilty to one count of felony possession of a weapon in a San Diego courtroom on Monday.
The Baton Rouge, Louisiana, rapper born Torrence Hatch Jr, and previously known as Lil Boosie, was arrested in the Chollas View neighborhood of San Diego on May 6 after police found Hatch and a companion with two loaded handguns in their car after a traffic stop.
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 was booked on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle with as a felon, being a prohibited gun owner in possession of ammunition, and possession of an unregistered firearm.
Hours later, Hatch performed at San Diego’s Phantom Lounge after posting $50,000 bail.
“The rap sheet in this case was quite vague,” said Deputy District Attorney Matthew Carberry at Hatch’s arraignment on Monday in San Diego Superior Court. Carberry then listed a number of Hatch’s 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 sentence. In 2019, Hatch was arrested in Georgia on gun and drug possession charges as well.
In 2012, Hatch was acquitted in a 2009 murder case in Louisiana.
Taking all this into account, and Hatch’s planned concert in Jacksonville, Florida, in July, Carberry asked the court to require Hatch be present at all future court dates. The judge agreed and set another hearing for May 24.
Hatch and his lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.
If convicted, Hatch faces a maximum of three years in prison.
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