Prose­cu­tors: ‘suge’ Knight, lawyer dis­cussed wit­ness bribery

South Florida Times - - POP CULTURE - By AN­DReW DALToN

Los AN­Ge­Les — former rap mogul Mar­ion “suge” Knight and his lawyer dis­cussed pay­ing wit­nesses thou­sands of dol­lars to lie in his up­com­ing mur­der case, prose­cu­tors said.

The Los An­ge­les County district at­tor­ney’s of­fice made the al­le­ga­tion and re­leased tran­scripts of the dis­cus­sions dur­ing phone calls in a fil­ing made pub­lic last Thurs­day that asked a court to look into the is­sue.

Talk of bribery came in a se­ries of recorded calls in 2015 be­tween Knight, who was in jail, and his at­tor­ney Matthew fletcher along with Knight’s fi­ancee and his busi­ness part­ner.

Knight, whose Death Row Records made house­hold names of Dr. Dre, snoop Dogg and Tu­pac shakur, is charged with run­ning his truck into two men, one of whom died, in 2015 out­side a Comp­ton burger stand af­ter an ar­gu­ment on the set of the movie “straight outta Comp­ton.”

The peo­ple on the calls dis­cuss pay­ments of

as much as $25,000 to wit­nesses to say the vic­tims or oth­ers at the burger stand were armed at the time, bol­ster­ing Knight’s ar­gu­ment that he was act­ing in self-de­fense.

fletcher did not im­me­di­ately re­turn a phone mes­sage left by The As­so­ci­ated Press, but strongly de­nied brib­ing any­one to The New York Daily News.

“I’ve never paid any­one, pe­riod, end of story,” fletcher told the Daily News, which first re­ported on the bribery al­le­ga­tions. “I don’t be­lieve suge Knight has the money to pay any­one.”

In one call, fletcher ap­peared to dis­cuss giv­ing money to bik­ers who were at the scene.

“I’ll pay any­thing ... if we can get the two or three ver­sions from the bik­ers on tape and we can get ... we’re done,” fletcher says. “It’s go­ing home time. Right? That’s a fair ... in­vest­ment, you know, 20, 25 thou­sand dol­lars.”

fletcher told the Daily News he wasn’t talk­ing about wit­nesses, but bik­ers who may have cell­phone video that could be use­ful to the de­fense.

The sher­iff’s Depart­ment was tipped off that Knight and oth­ers were dis­cussing wit­ness tam­per­ing, and re­quested a war­rant to lis­ten in on the calls, the fil­ing said.

A judge found that the calls could be recorded and would not vi­o­late con­fi­den­tial­ity rules if Knight was first speak­ing to a third party and his lawyer was then con­fer­enced in.

Prose­cu­tors said they were not yet ask­ing that fletcher be re­moved from the case, and did not say they in­tended to file charg­ers, only that they wanted a court in­quiry to see if fletcher through the il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity might be con­flicted as Knight’s lawyer.

The fil­ing also al­leges that fletcher en­cour­aged the sale of sur­veil­lance video from the scene to TMZ in vi­o­la­tion of a court or­der, which fletcher also de­nies.

Last week, Knight pleaded not guilty to new charges that he threated to kill or se­ri­ously in­jure “straight outta Comp­ton” di­rec­tor f. Gary Gray.

PhoTo CouR­Tesy of TheZIMBABWeMAIL.CoM

Suge Knight

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