The Suge Knight Case: Everything You Need to Know

Suge Knight’s trial for a 2015 hit-and-run is finally due to begin in February 2018. Here’s a recap of everything that’s been going on in the case.
By Alejandra Moedano
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  • Suge Knight has had his share of run-ins with the law. Like assaulting two rappers at a recording studio in 1992, getting in a fight in Vegas hours before Tupac was shot in 1996 and being sent to prison, serving time for punching a parking valet…

    And then there was the time he kind of sort of admitted to giving Easy-E AIDS?

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  • So, it’s no surprise that there are consistently new developments with his legal status. You may have been distracted with other stuff in 2018, so here’s a recap of all the latest in the Suge Knight legal case.

    Suge Knight is currently on trial for a January 2015 hit-and-run where he allegedly ran over Terry Carter and Cle “Bone” Sloan in the parking lot of a Tam’s Burgers on Rosecrans on the set of Straight Outta Compton. Carter died in the incident and Sloan survived with injuries. The prosecution has several key witnesses that argue the hit-and-run was intentional.

    Witness Robert Smith said: “All I hear is some arguing and something was going on, so I turn to look out and I seen Suge Knight turn around and go to his car. He backed his car up and put it in drive and then he hit Terry Carter. He ran him over twice.”

    Suge wasn’t even supposed to be on the set in the first place. According to court documents, he was angry about not being included in the production of Straight Outta Compton, and had spent the previous year threatening the film’s director, F. Gary Gray.

    While awaiting trial, he’s been in and out of the hospital multiple times with potentially life-threatening blood clots. And, he collapsed in court in March 2015 after a judge set his bail at $25 million. Not crazy enough for you yet? This is when it gets even crazier.

    In August 2017, prosecutors presented the court with transcripts of recorded conversations that appeared to show Suge Knight and his defense attorneys conspiring to bribe witnesses to fabricate testimony in his favor. And, the Suge Knight team was apparently paid $55,000 by TMZ in exchange for sealed court documents, which they were

    So, after all that, Suge’s attorneys were taken off the case and arrested as accomplices after the fact. The lawyers denied any wrongdoing, and claim that disqualified judges unlawfully allowed the prosecution to listen in on privileged phone calls.

    They also say the prosecution is trying to create a rift between Suge and his fiancee Toi-Lin Kelly. And, in October 2017, Toi-Lin Kelly pleaded no contest to violating a court order after she sold a video to TMZ. The lawyers have since been released, and don’t expect charges to be filed.

    Suge could have opted to change representation, but he’s decided to stick with defense attorney Thaddeus Culpepper since his release. Now, there’s one more thing we have to talk about.

    In February, BET is premiering a docu-series called Death Row Chronicles, detailing the turbulent history and legacy of Suge Knight’s record label. The LA District Attorney is now arguing that Suge broke the law by granting an interview for the series, since he’s only legally allowed to speak with his attorneys. Producer Nora Donaghy had her phone seized by authorities, indicating that they believe he may have disclosed information relevant to the case in the interview.

    Suge Knight’s trial is expected to start in February, but it’s already taken 3 years, so who knows what could happen.

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