Summary: The attorneys for Marion “Suge” Knight, a music executive accused of murder, were indicted for bribing witnesses.
The attorneys for Marion “Suge” Knight are needing lawyers of their own. The Death Row Records founder is facing a slew of charges including murder. His attorney Matthew Fletcher and former attorney Thaddeus Culpepper were indicted for attempting to bribe witnesses in the trial.
The Associated Press reported on Billboard that the attorneys are charged with conspiring to bribe potential witnesses and three other felony counts including conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, accessory after the fact to a felony, and conspiracy to commit subornation of perjury. Fletcher apparently tried to pay a witness for a favorable testimony while Culpepper told a confidential informant that he needed to give false testimony.
CBS News reported that the newly unsealed indictment accuses Fletcher of telling Knight that witnesses would need to be paid off in payouts of $20,000 to $25,000 for favorable testimonies. Culpepper arranged for a witness to claim he saw weapons at the scene, which would back up Knight’s argument of self-defense.
Both attorneys have retained Mark Geragos for representation. They were released on their own recognizance and will report back on March 16 for their arraignment. Soon after their arrest, Knight brought Culpepper back onto his legal team.
Knight was involved in a hit-and-run in 2015. Witnesses claim that Knight had been involved in a verbal fight with the two at the film set of Straight Outta Compton. Knight allegedly followed the two to a burger stand parking lot where he ran them over with his truck. Security footage shows Knight running over the men, leaving Terry Carter, co-founder of Heavyweight Records, dead and filmmaker Cle Sloan with head injuries.
Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said at the time to The Wrap, “We have several witnesses who saw him run over the men. It looked to them it was intentional. They said it was an intentional act, that he ran the two individuals over. But we want to talk to him.” Knight and Carter were allegedly good friends.
Knight, 52, has a violent history which caused a judge in 2016 to keep the identities of the witnesses in the murder trial sealed. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges but faces life in prison if convicted.
Knight played two games for the Los Angeles Rams during the NFL players’ strike of 1987. He went on to found Death Row Records with Dr. Dre and The D.O.C. in 1991. The label once had Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, M.C. Hammer, and other popular rappers under its name. Knight continued to rule with an iron fist, even accused of being involved in the revenge killing of The Notorious B.I.G.
The record label filed for bankruptcy in 2006 after most of their big artists had left to join other labels. Since the majority of his legal troubles have picked up in recent years, Knight has been suffering from medical problems, including blood clots.
His latest charge was in August 2017 for threatening the director of Straight Outta Compton, F. Gary Gray. The grand jury indictment found he had made “unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific” threat to Gray that caused the director to fear for his and his family’s safety. Knight has pleaded not guilty to that charge as well.
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To learn more about the legal problems of famous rappers, read these articles:
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- Rapper Lil Boosie Released from Louisiana Prison
- 50 Cent is Broke: Rapper Files for Bankruptcy