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A business partner of Marion “Suge” Knight was sentenced on Wednesday after pleading no contest for conspiring to sell sealed video evidence to TMZ.
Mark Blankenship, 58, was charged with one felony count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. After entering his plea, Blankenship was immediately sentenced to five years of formal probation and ordered to pay $55,000 in restitution, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Blankenship was accused of arranging the sale of a surveillance video showing the fatal 2015 hit-and-run involving Knight to TMZ (a deal worth $55,000), which was then posted to its website.
The judge in Knight’s case, Ricardo Ocampo, prohibited the release of any evidence in the murder case, including the video.
Blankenship and co-defendant, Toilin Kelly, knew the tape was sealed, authorities said, but sold it to TMZ anyway.
The 38-year-old Kelly pleaded no contest in 2017 to one count of conspiracy to violate a court order, according to the district attorney’s office. She was placed on formal probation for five years, ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and also pay $55,000 in restitution.
In October 2018, Knight was sentenced to 28 years in state prison after pleading no contest to one count of voluntary manslaughter and admitting a special allegation that he used a deadly weapon, his truck, when he ran over two men following an altercation outside a fast food restaurant. One of the men died.
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