Founder of Death Row Records, rap mogul Suge Knight, has been formally charged with murder and attempted murder following a fatal hit-and-run in a Compton parking lot last week. If convicted he faces up to life in prison.
Reports the LA Times, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced the charges laid against Knight earlier today (AEDT). The 49-year-old is charged with one count of murder, one count of attempted murder and two counts of hit-and-run.
Last Thursday the 49-year-old allegedly ran over two men standing in the parking lot with his truck after an altercation during the filming of the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton. One of the men, 55-year-old actor Terry Carter, was killed. The other Cle “Bone” Sloan, survived with injuries.
At the time of the incident Knight was out on bail in another robbery case from last year. He surrendered himself to police last Friday morning for questioning and is currently being held without bail, as he is deemed a flight risk. He is due to make his first court appearance in Compton on Tuesday.
Knight’s attorney, James E. Blatt, admitted to the Times that his client was behind the wheel but claims Knight was being assaulted and accidentally ran over the two men while trying to flee his attackers.
Sgt. Richard Biddle of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department disputes that claim. “It looks like an intentional act,” said Biddle. “There’s a whole bunch of people we still need to interview,” he said, “but no one is coming forward to cooperate.”
Just last August, Knight and two others were shot inside a packed Hollywood nightclub at a pre-MTV’s Video Music Awards party hosted by singer Chris Brown. He was involved in a similar incident in 2005, when he was shot in the leg at a party in Miami hosted by Kanye West.
Knight has a series of previous convictions. Reports the Times, in 1997 he was sentenced to nine years in prison for violating the terms of his probation from an earlier assault case. While he was released early in 2001 he returned to prison for violating parole when he hit a parking lot attendant.
In 2008, he was arrested on suspicion of drug possession and aggravated assault and in 2009 he pleaded guilty to battery. He was also arrested last year for robbery after he and comedian Katt Williams allegedly stole a photographer’s camera.