WEST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight was arrested and booked on suspicion of murder early Friday morning, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
Knight turned himself in at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station around 1 a.m. for questioning. He was arrested around 3 a.m. and booked five hours later on murder charges at the Men’s Central Jail downtown in connection with a fatal traffic accident in Compton on Thursday afternoon.
The accident happened near the movie set of Universal Pictures’ “Straight Outta Compton” in the 1200 block of West Rosecrans Avenue, officials said.
An argument reportedly began on the set about 2:30 p.m. and continued several blocks away in the parking lot of Tam’s Burgers.
Witnesses said Knight got behind the wheel of his red pickup to leave, put the vehicle in reverse and struck two men, who were identified as Terry Carter and actor Cle Sloan. The founder of Death Row Records then reportedly ran them over again.
Both men were taken to St. Francis Hospital, where Carter was pronounced dead. The condition of Sloan, who had small roles in “Training Day” and ‘End Of Watch,” was unknown.
Knight’s attorney, James Edward Blatt, said Carter was a good friend of the rap mogul.
“So far, the people we’ve talked to said it was an intentional act, and we’re handling it as a homicide,” Lt. John Corina said.
Blatt believes witnesses and video will be found that will exonerate his client.
“We feel strongly Mr. Knight did not do anything wrong in this matter. He was attacked by a number of individuals that’s has already been corroborated by certain witnesses. He left the scene because he was in fear for his safety and life,” he said.
KCAL9’s Brittney Hopper spoke with legal analyst Steve Meister, who said Knight faces life in prison if he is convicted of murder.
“It’s not a crime to have a car accident,” Meister added. “It’s a crime to leave the scene of an accident that you know happened.”
According to Meister, being that Knight is being held in jail on murder charges does not mean that the District Attorney’s Office will charge him with murder.
Hopper said deputies have obtained video surveillance, and the District Attorney’s Office will explore all options for additional charges.
Authorities later recovered the pickup at a West Los Angeles parking lot.
The 49-year-old, who was being held on $2 million bail, has a criminal past with arrests for drugs, probation violations and more.
In November, Knight pleaded not guilty to robbery charges in connection with allegations that he and comedian Katt Williams stole a celebrity photographer’s camera in Beverly Hills.
Knight was also shot in August while attending a MTV Video Music Awards pre-party hosted by singer Chris Brown in West Hollywood.
In 1996, he was driving a car that rapper Tupac Shakur was fatally shot in near the Las Vegas Strip.