Suge Knight’s lawyers want witnesses’ details in murder case


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Attorneys for Marion “Suge” Knight will return to court Friday to seek information about those who witnessed a fight before the former rap music mogul is accused of running down two men in his truck, killing one.

A prosecutor said the names and addresses of certain witnesses in the murder case should not be given to Knight’s attorneys, arguing the 51-year-old has a history of violence and witness intimidation.

The hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court comes amid new health problems for the Death Row Records co-founder, who was recently hospitalized for 10 days. Knight received emergency treatment for complications stemming from diabetes and blood clots that developed after he was shot seven times in a West Hollywood nightclub in 2014, attorney J. Tooson said.

Knight’s lawyers want details about those who saw a January 2015 confrontation in a Compton parking lot that ended when he ran over two men, killing one and seriously injuring the other, authorities said. The attorneys say he was fleeing an armed ambush.

Knight has pleaded not guilty to murder, attempted murder and hit-and-run charges and remains jailed.

A prosecutor’s motion includes a lengthy list of allegations, including that Knight extorted money from out-of-town rappers working in Los Angeles. Many of the incidents were previously included in a motion that led to Knight’s bail being set at $25 million, although a judge later reduced it to $10 million.

“The defendant, Marion Knight, is among the most prolific, despicable, and violent criminals in Los Angeles County,” Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Barnes wrote in the motion.

Tooson called many of the allegations in the prosecutor’s motion unfounded and noted that Knight had not been arrested or charged with most of the incidents.

Barnes’ motion says she would arrange in-person interviews for Knight’s lawyers with any of the witnesses whose information she is withholding.

Knight’s Death Row Records label fueled gangster rap’s popularity in the 1990s, with an artist roster that included Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg. He lost control of the company after it was forced into bankruptcy.

Knight has a criminal history stretching back years. He pleaded no contest in 1995 and was sentenced to five years’ probation for assaulting two rappers in 1992. He was sentenced to prison in 1997 for violating his probation by taking part in a fight at a Las Vegas hotel hours before Shakur was fatally wounded in a drive-by shooting as he rode in Knight’s car.

Knight faces up to life in prison if convicted in the murder case.

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP.