Following a fatal hit-and-run incident last week, Suge Knight is now facing life in prison. The former Death Row Records CEO has been charged with one count each of murder and attempted murder, in addition to two counts of hit-and-run.
A statement from the Los Angeles Country District Attorney’s office reads, “Following an altercation on Thursday outside a Compton restaurant, Knight allegedly was driving his truck when he ran over two men standing in the parking lot. One man [51-year-old Cle Denyale Sloan] was injured and the second man, Terry Carter, 55, died. The driver of the pickup fled the scene.”
Knight allegedly got into an argument with the men on the set of a promo shoot for the upcoming N.W.A. biopic Straight Out of Compton. (Reports are conflicting whether this was re-shoots for the film or a promotional music video/commercial of some sort.) After filming ended, Knight followed the men to a nearby burger restaurant where the hit-and-run actually occurred.
Knight’s attorney, James Blatt, told the Los Angeles Times that he believes his client will be exonerated once a full investigation and trial proceed. While admitting that his client did in fact hit the victims, Blatt said Knight was attacked through the window of his truck by a group of individuals “attempting to drag him outside of the vehicle when he made an effort to escape … in fear for his life.” It was then that Blatt says Knight unintentionally struck the two victims.
Witnesses disagree with Blatt’s version of the story, saying that the incident appeared intentional as the vehicle struck and then immediately backed up over the victims. Los Angeles police charged Knight with murder after he turned himself in and submitted to a three-hour long interview. He was initially granted $2 million bail, but had it revoked for what a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department cited as “possible flight risk, three-strike candidate, possible witness intimidation issues, and his criminal past.”
Knight was sentenced to prison for nine years in 1997 after violating probation stemming from an earlier assault charge. After being granted early release, he was sent back to prison in 2003 after striking a parking attendant. In 2008, he was brought in on suspicion of drug possession and aggravated assault, and in 2009, he pleaded guilty to battery. Just last October, he was arrested for robbery after he and comedian Katt Williams allegedly stole a photographer’s camera.