Suge Knight Pleads Not Guilty to Murder, Other Charges
The rap mogul was arraigned in a Compton court Tuesday morning.
COMPTON, Calif. — Death Row Records founder Suge Knight has pleaded not guilty to murder, attempted murder and other charges filed after he struck two men with his truck last week.
The former rap music mogul appeared in a Compton court Tuesday and entered the plea.
Knight is accused of intentionally running down two men, including a friend, in Compton on Thursday. Knight remains in custody and appeared in court wearing orange jail attire.
However, his attorney James Blatt has said the collision was an accident that occurred as Knight was trying to flee an altercation in which he was assaulted. The 49-year-old Knight could face life in prison if convicted.
On Monday, prosecutors charged Knight with killing 55-year-old Terry Carter and attempting to kill 51-year-old Cle "Bone" Sloan. Knight also faces two charges of hit-and-run. At the time of Thursday's incident, Knight was out on bail in a separate robbery case, leading the D.A.'s office to allege that "he committed a serious and violent felony while out on bail in another pending case," according to charges filed Monday.
The complaint against Knight includes use of a deadly weapon and causing great bodily injury allegations. It also mentions that Knight has prior convictions, making this a three-strikes law case.
In addition, Knight's $2 million bail was revoked after a court commissioner agreed with authorities that he was a potential flight risk and could intimidate witnesses.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 Knight could face a lengthy prison sentence because of a violent criminal past, said LASD spokeswoman Nicole Nishida.
Knight was arrested Friday and charged with murder in connection with a deadly hit-and-run in Los Angeles the day before. The accident occurred near the set of a promotional shoot for the upcoming N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton.
In the incident, 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 Straight Outta Compton set 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 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.