Suge Knight Charged With Murder in Fatal Hit-and-Run

Associated Press
Knight turning himself in on Friday morning

The rap mogul is being held on $2 million bail.

Suge Knight has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with Thursday's fatal hit-and-run near the set of a promotional shoot for Straight Outta Compton in Los Angeles.

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Knight was arrested at approximately 3 a.m. local time Friday morning, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced, and is being held on $2 million bail at the downtown Los Angeles station. (He was formerly being held at the West Hollywood station but had been moved downtown as of 9 a.m. local time, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.) Knight turned himself in at 12:30 a.m. on Friday, the LASD and Knight's lawyer James Blatt confirmed to THR, and can be shown doing so in the video below.

Blatt confirmed Thursday night that his client was the driver in a fatal traffic accident that left one man dead. His lawyer had said Knight was preparing to turn himself in. 

Detectives were investigating the incident as a homicide, and Knight was interviewed by homicide detectives earlier on Friday morning, the LASD said.

Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the incident occurred on or near the set of a photo shoot associated with the upcoming NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton. The shoot had wrapped and Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, who were at the shoot, weren't present at the time of the hit-and-run. Universal declined to comment.

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An LASD press release says homicide detectives arrived to investigate the circumstances surrounding a fatal hit-and-run around 3 p.m. local time on Thursday. When they got to the Compton scene, shown in the photo below, the detectives learned that two men were hanging out at the rear parking lot of a business when a red pickup truck approached. Knight began arguing with the two men. The dispute escalated and he backed up, striking one of the men. He then drove forward over both victims, the LASD said.

Lt. John Corina of the LASD detectives unit, told the Los Angeles Times that at least one of the victims was a member of the film crew. Corina said that about 20 minutes after an argument on set, the men visited Tam's Burgers near Central and East Rosecrans avenues. Knight, 49, is believed to have followed the men in his truck before running them over and leaving the scene.

"They obviously knew each other," Corina told the Times. "They got into some kind of verbal altercation and it escalated. So far the people we talked to said it looked like an intentional act so we are handling it like a homicide."

Blatt told THR on Friday that his client was attacked by two to four individuals as he was going to a meeting with his longtime business associate and friend, Terry Carter, 55, who was later killed by his car. The men charged the vehicle, Blatt says, beat him, grabbed the steering wheel and threatened his life. Knight was "under a reasonable belief that he'd be killed," Blatt said, and the rap mogul had "no knowledge" that he'd hit or killed someone with his car as he was trying to leave the scene. Blatt said he's hopeful that video of the incident, if it exists, will exonerate Knight.

Knight is set to appear in court on Tuesday, Feb. 3.

In addition to Carter, actor Cle Sloan, 51, who appeared in Training Day and End of Watch, was also struck and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Knight, the co-founder of Death Row Records, has had multiple run-ins with the law over the years. Currently the CEO of Black Kapital Records, Knight was the victim of a shooting at a pre-Video Music Awards party in August.

Straight Outta Compton is being directed by F. Gary Gray and is set for an Aug. 14 release. O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell are starring as Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E, respectively. The film is set in the 1980s and tells the story of the group's rise to fame.

Jan. 30, 6:20 a.m. Updated to reflect that Knight has been charged and turned himself in.

Jan. 30, 9:28 a.m. Updated to reflect that Knight has been moved to the downtown station.

Jan. 30, 1:53 p.m. Updated to include confirmation of the victims' names and Knight's lawyer's account.

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