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Tupac Lyrics Used to Tie Defendant to Murder

In March 2007, Maurice Patterson, an incarcerated drug dealer currently on trial for first-degree murder charges, wrote a cryptic letter to some associates on the outside. Just days after the delivery, a man named Eric Sawyer was found shot to death at the hands of those very associates. Now, a semi-resourceful district attorney is trying to use a line from the note to help demonstrate that Patterson, who is locked away in Lycoming County Prison in Pennsylvania, ordered the murder and is guilty of the crime. The line in question: “When I give the word, tear that ass out the frame” — part of a Tupac lyric in the song ‘Homeboyz’ that resolves with a “you’ll be sleepin in the casket” threat.

While Patterson once tried to pass it off as just song lyrics, he contradicted himself openly in court.

“I never heard that song before,” retorted Patterson in cross examination earlier this week. He claims that the reference was purely drug-related slang and nothing else.

“You said you got that phrase from Tupac,” the D.A. Eric R. Linhardt responded. “Is there another song I am not aware of where ‘tear the ass out of that frame’ is used?”

We’re not snitching, but check out Mobb Deep! Either way, Patterson claims that Sawyer was a high-level drug runner and seems to have had a very messy relationship with the victim, including best man vows, secret nicknames and lots of drug-related controversy. If the jurors return a guilty verdict, they will be asked to determine a sentence between life without parole or death.

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