Fatal car incident: Knight wanted

Published: Friday 30th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight is wanted by US police after one man died and another was injured following a hit-and-run incident in a car park.

A lawyer for hip-hop label mogul Knight, 49, said he had accidentally run over and killed a friend and injured another man as he fled attackers in Los Angeles County, California.

Authorities said the incident is being investigated as a homicide.

Knight plans to turn himself in and is “confident that once the investigation is completed, he will be totally exonerated,” his attorney James Blatt said.

A red pick-up truck struck the men on Thursday afternoon in the car park of a fast-food restaurant in the Los Angeles County city of Compton and then took off, Los Angeles County officer Lt John Corina told reporters. He confirmed the incident is being investigated as a homicide.

Lt Corina said: “Looks like he drove backwards and struck the victims and drove forwards and struck them again.

“The people we talked to say it looked like it was an intentional act.”

A 55-year-old man died in hospital and a 51-year-old man was injured in the incident.

The empty truck was found late on Thursday night in a west Los Angeles car park, Lt Corina said.

The officer said investigators did not have any witnesses who said Knight was driving the vehicle, but he was witnessed driving a red pick-up truck 20 minutes earlier in a different part of town where a video was being shot.

Knight got into some kind of argument at the earlier location and drove off, Lt Corina said.

Witnesses said another argument developed at the restaurant car park before the incident, according to police.

Mr Blatt said it was an accident.

The lawyer said: “He (Knight) was in the process of being physically assaulted by two men and in an effort to escape, he unfortunately hit two (other) individuals.

“He was in his car trying to escape.”

Mr Blatt said Knight would negotiate to surrender but did not indicate when that would happen, adding he had not yet spoken to Knight.

Compton has been immortalised in hip-hop folklore – and on many of the records Knight released – as a violent urban environment, though crime has dipped significantly there since its 1990s peak.

Knight founded Death Row Records in the 1990s, presiding over releases by artists such as Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.

He was later declared bankruptcy and the company was auctioned off.

Knight has a long history of run-ins with the law, ranging from assaults to driving offences.

In November, he pleaded not guilty to a robbery charge filed over an incident in which a celebrity photographer accused him of stealing her camera in Beverly Hills. Because of prior convictions, he could face up to 30 years in prison.

He has previous convictions for armed robbery and assault with a gun. He pleaded no contest in 1995 and was sentenced to five years’ probation for assaulting two rap entertainers at a Hollywood recording studio in 1992.

He has also served timed for probation violations.

Last August, Knight recovered after being shot six times at a Los Angeles nightclub. No arrests have been made.

Published: Friday 30th January 2015 by The News Editor

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