'Suge' Knight due in court for key hearing in murder case
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Marion "Suge" Knight is scheduled to return to court Thursday for the conclusion of a hearing in which a judge will decide whether the former rap music mogul will stand trial on murder and attempted murder charges.
Knight's attorney will finish his cross-examination of the lead sheriff's detective investigating the death of 55-year-old Terry Carter, who was run over by Knight's pickup truck in late January outside a Compton, California, burger stand. Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen, who has already heard testimony from another man that Knight struck, will then determine whether prosecutors have shown enough evidence to support their case.
Coen said he found that Cle "Bone" Sloan, who was seriously injured when he was ran over by Knight's truck, was being deceptive when he testified on Monday. Sloan refused to identify Knight in court and said he had no memory of the incident, despite giving detectives a lucid account of events shortly after the deadly encounter.
Sloan said on Monday that he did not want to be a snitch and did not want to be responsible for sending Knight to prison. He told detectives that he punched Knight through the window of his pickup truck right before the Death Row Records hit him and drove over his legs.
In addition to Sloan's testimony, Coen has watched surveillance footage of the incident and listened to Sloan's hour-long interview with detectives at a hospital after he was injured.
Knight has pleaded not guilty to murder, attempted murder and hit-and-run charges filed after the Jan. 29 incident. His attorney, Matt Fletcher, has said his client was fleeing an attack when he struck Sloan and Carter.
Fletcher has noted in the preliminary hearing that several other men hired by Sloan to work on the film "Straight Outta Compton" were at the scene of the confrontation with Knight, despite the fact they should have been several blocks away at a shoot for a promotional video featuring Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.
"Straight Outta Compton" is due for release later this year and is about the rise of the gangster rap group N.W.A., of which Dre and Cube were members.
Knight, 49, was a key player in the gangster rap scene that flourished in the 1990s, and his label once listed Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg among its artists. Knight lost control of the company after it was forced into bankruptcy.