Trill Entertainment CEOs Melvin Vernell Jr. and Marcus Roach will once again be tried in court for charges stemming from an assault against up and coming rapper Bruce “Beelow” Moore for allegedly bootlegging the labels music.
The retrial is a result of the lawyer who represented the Baton Rogue Hip-Hop label facing criminal charges for allegedly interfering with a criminal probe by attempting to have attempted murder charges against Vernell and Roach dismissed.
Attorney Peter Q. John is currently standing trial to clarify to the courts why the witnesses and plaintiff in the case received a settlement after the criminal case was dropped and no civil case was filed.
Authorities suspect that the lack of cooperation from witnesses and Beelow were partly due to intimidation by Vernell and Roach, who allegedly harassed witnesses involved with the case and the promises of John who negotiated a settlement for the men injured in the shooting after the case was dropped at Beelow’s request.
Prosecutors also accuse the self-proclaimed “Thugs Lawyer” of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, perjury and theft, alleging that he had access to advanced information in the grand jury proceedings.
John is also accused of presenting false information designed to clear Vernell and Roach of the attempted murder charges.
According to John, prosecutors failed to present enough evidence to the grand jury, facts which would have shown that he legally negotiated a settlement with the two victims and has done nothing outside of the legal parameters he is given as a lawyer.
Although the initial charges against Vernell and Roach were dropped because prosecutors took too long to try the case, the pair will stand trial for a second time, facing charges of aggravated battery, aggravated assault with a firearm and possession of an illegal firearm by a convicted felon .
In addition to representing Vernell and Roach and himself, John is reportedly on retainer for the label and is the lead lawyer in Lil’ Boosie’s first degree murder trial.
Boosie, who has pleaded not guilty for his alleged role in the December 2009 shooting death of Christopher “Nussie” Jackson, is currently incarcerated pending his trial and under investigation for a possible five murders.
Vernell and Roach are currently free on $350,000 bond.