Trouble-plagued Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight was arrested on suspicion of murder early Friday, hours after reportedly causing a hit-and-run wreck that killed a man and injured another near Los Angeles.
After being questioned by homicide detectives, Knight was taken into custody and held on $2 million bail. Knight’s attorney, James Blatt, said the former rap mogul was in fear for his life Thursday in Compton, which caused him to accidentally run over and kill a friend and injure another man as he fled attackers.
“We are confident that once the investigation is completed, he will be totally exonerated,” Blatt said.
Details from the incident seem to paint a different story. A red pickup truck drove into the parking lot of a restaurant Thursday afternoon, and two people were engaged in an argument with the driver, sheriff’s officials said. The argument escalated, and the pickup struck the men – a 55 year old and 51 year old, presently unidentified – around 3 p.m. and then took off, officials said.
“Looks like he drove backwards and struck the victims and drove forwards and struck them again,” sheriff’s Lt. John Corina said.
“The people we talked to say it looked like it was an intentional act,” he said.
A 55-year-old man died at a hospital, and a 51-year-old man was injured, but officials did not immediately know his condition.
Witnesses also spoke of an argument.
“To see the argument happen, it’s one thing,” said 17-year-old Robert Smith, who was eating in the restaurant. “Seeing the car incident, that was shocking.”
Blatt said it was an accident.
“He was in the process of being physically assaulted by two men, and in an effort to escape, he unfortunately hit two (other) individuals,” the lawyer said. “He was in his car trying to escape.”
With a positively jaw-dropping rap sheet of assaults, robbery and beyond, Knight is a well-known magnet for high-level aggression.