Ex-rap mogul 'Suge' Knight to be in court on murder charge
LOS ANGELES (AP) Marion "Suge" Knight, the former hip-hop mogul now charged with murder, attempted murder and hit-and-run, is expected to appear in court Tuesday.
Prosecutors filed the charges against Knight on Monday, alleging he intended to run down a friend and another man after an argument on a movie set on Thursday.
He is scheduled to appear in court to be arraigned on four felony counts, which include murder in the death of 55-year-old Terry Carter, "attempted, willful, deliberate and premeditated murder" involving 51-year-old victim Cle "Bone" Sloan, plus two charges of hit-and-run.
Knight's attorney, James Blatt, says Knight accidentally ran over the men as he tried to escape a vicious attack. He turned himself in the following day.
Also Monday, Knight's $2 million bail was revoked after a court commissioner agreed with authorities that he was a potential flight risk and could intimidate witnesses.
The ruling came after homicide detectives told the bail commissioner that the 49-year-old founder of Death Row Records could face a lengthy prison sentence because of a violent criminal past, said Los Angeles County sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida.
Knight was out on bail in a separate robbery case when the men were hit.
Knight was at the center of one of the most notorious rap conflicts of the 1990s, pitting Tupac Shakur against Biggie Smalls in an East Coast-West Coast rivalry.
Knight was sent to prison for nearly five years for badly beating a rival with Shakur at a Las Vegas hotel, just hours before Shakur was fatally shot while riding in Knight's car just east of the Strip in 1996.
In the current case, Knight struck two men with his pickup in a Compton burger stand parking lot. The collision killed his friend Carter, a founder and owner of Heavyweight Records who was viewed as a local father figure and tried to help mentor young men in the community, said Doug Young, a friend and hip-hop music promoter. Also injured in the collision was Sloan, an actor and film consultant.
Authorities said Knight visited the set for "Straight Outta Compton," a film about the rise of the rap group N.W.A., and argued with Sloan, who was working at the location on Thursday. Sheriff's deputies providing security asked Knight to leave.
A short time afterward, the argument resumed in a parking lot a few miles away where Knight and Sloan exchanged punches through a window of the pickup before the two men were run down, authorities said.
Blatt has said Knight was attacked by four people, including Sloan, as he pulled into the parking lot after Carter requested he show up for a meeting. Blatt said Knight hit the gas and fled in fear.
Because a conviction in the case could result in Knight's third serious felony under California's three strikes sentencing law, Knight could face up to life in prison if he's convicted.
Tami Abdollah can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/latams.