Suge Knight Pleads Not Guilty to Murder

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight was taken to hospital Tuesday morning shortly after pleading not guilty to murder for a hit-and-run in a Compton parking lot last week that left one man dead and another badly injured.
     The Death Row Records founder faces life in state prison under California’s three strikes law if convicted on one count of murder, one count of attempted murder, and two counts of hit-and-run.
     Knight, 49, was reportedly taken to hospital after complaining of chest pain, according to reports.
     He appeared at the Tuesday morning hearing in a Compton court to enter a not-guilty plea to all charges. He was initially held on a $2 million bond. But a judge revoked Knight’s bail because he is considered a flight risk.
     This past Thursday night, Knight allegedly ran over two men with his Ford Raptor pickup in the parking lot of Tam’s Burgers on Rosecrans Ave., near where a promotional spot was being filmed for the biographical movie “Straight Outta Compton,” about rap group N.W.A.
     Knight is accused of killing his longtime friend Terry Carter, 55, and critically injuring Cle Denyale “Bone” Sloan, 51, after an altercation at the restaurant.
     Knight allegedly fled the scene after the incident. Knight has claimed that he accidentally ran over the men because he feared for his life, according to attorney James Blatt.
     “We feel strongly Mr. Knight did not do anything wrong in this matter,” Blatt said. “He was attacked by a number of individuals; that has already been corroborated by certain witnesses. He left the scene because he was in fear for his safety and life.”
     Sloan’s attorney, Michael R. Shapiro, said after the arraignment that private security personnel were protecting his client. He said the incident had left Sloan “in a state of shock,” with head injuries and a “very badly mangled left foot.”
     “I tend to be marginally paranoid,” Shapiro added. “There is an element [of concern for Sloan’s safety] but we planned for it and hopefully the plans were unnecessary. He’s living in an environment where security is being offered to him.”
     Sloan, whom Shapiro described as an up-and-coming filmmaker, was acting as technical adviser on the film set. The set was reportedly closed to Knight.
     Lawyer David E. Kenner replaced Blatt as Knight’s counsel on Monday. He said that Knight was “doing fine” and said he was confident that his client would get off.
     “I can’t comment on discussions with my client, they are privileged,” Kenner said, adding that he could not comment on the accuracy of Blatt’s claim that Knight had accidentally run over the two men.
     But the attorney added: “Clearly, from what I understand, he was being attacked and was trying to get away.”
     Kenner is representing Knight with his partner, Brett A. Greenfield.     
     Prosecutors have also charged Knight with committing a “serious and violent felony” while out on bail in a separate robbery case. In that case, Knight is accused of stealing a photographer’s camera along with actor-comedian Katt Williams, 43.
     Knight was also due to appear at the Superior Court Airport Courthouse in the robbery case on Tuesday morning.
     A feud between West Coast and East Coast rappers in the mid-1990s – with Knight at the center – started the rap mogul’s legal troubles. He was driving the car carrying rapper Tupac Shakur when the latter was shot in a fatal drive-by shooting in Las Vegas on Sept. 7, 1996.
     Knight spent four years in prison for violating probation for assault and weapons offenses.
     In August last year, Knight was shot six times at a VMA party in Hollywood hosted by Chris Brown to promote the singer’s latest album.

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