Suge Knight Bail Set At $25M In ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Death – Update

By Dominic Patten, David Robb

UPDATE, 10:05 AM: The L.A. County District Attorney’s office asked for a high bail because of concerns about flight risk and more in the fatality connected to the F. Gary Grey-directed N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton, and today Judge Ronald S. Cohen granted it. Marion “Suge” Knight’s bail is now a very hefty $25 million for his involvement with two men being run over near a movie-related photo shoot in late January. Already out on bail for another case, the former hip-hop mogul was arrested the next day and has been behind bars ever since.

The judge also made it clear that bail would be granted only if it could be proven that the $25 million didn’t come from funds gained from criminal acts.

“Defendant Knight’s extensive history of violence, both in this case and over the last 30 years, clearly demonstrates that he is physically incapable of stopping his violent criminal behavior,” said Deputy L.A. County D.A. Cynthia Barnes in paperwork filed with the court, citing the former Death Row Records boss’ “shameless life of crime.” With a reference to Fox’s hit hip-hop drama Empire, Knight’s lawyers said again today that he acted in self-defense. They also cited the bail as too high. The next step in case is a preliminary hearing set for April 13.

(MORE, 10:32 AM: As has happened in previous court appearances in this case, Knight has collapsed and medics have been called to the courtroom.)

3RD UPDATE, JANUARY 30 AM: Early this morning, LA Sheriff’s deputies arrested Suge Knight on suspicion of murder for the fatal hit and run that occurred near the set of the commercial being shot for the upcoming F. Gary Gray-directed N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton. Police say that the former CEO of Death Row Records was booked at the West Hollywood Station around 3 AM. He is being held there in lieu of $2 million bail. The N.W.A. movie, which sees former members of the notorious rap group Dr. Dre and Ice Cube among its producers, is set to come out in August this year.

2ND UPDATE, 9:04 PM: Sheriff’s homicide detective Lt. John Corina says authorities have found Suge Knight’s red Ford Raptor, the vehicle involved in today’s fatal hit and run, parked in Westwood and impounded it. He mentioned that it is the same vehicle Knight had been driving before he was shot six times during a party hosted by Chris Brown in West Hollywood last year.

Corina said there were two separate altercations — one at the set of the commercial being shot for the upcoming N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton and a second in the parking lot of Tam’s Burgers at Rosecrans and Central avenues, where the accident took place. He said deputies continue to negotiate with Knight’s attorney for his client’s surrender and will hold a news conference when he does.

UPDATE, 8:09 PM: LA Sheriff’s deputies at the scene of today’s hit and run tell Deadline that Marion “Suge” Knight is a “person of interest” in the case. They also said the car involved in the accident is registered to the Death Row Records founder, but officials don’t know if he was driving. Law enforcement is negotiating with Knight’s attorney about him coming in for questioning. The incident took place in the Tam’s Burgers parking lot, and Sheriff’s deputies will hold a news conference at the scene at 9 PM.

KABC-TV is reporting that Knight’s attorney James Blatt said his client was behind the wheel and is expected to turn himself in. Blatt also told the station that Knight was attacked by two people and tried to flee in his car. He said the man who was killed was a friend of Knight’s named Terry Carter and the second victim is activist and part-time actor Cle Sloan, who had bit roles in the Antoine Fuqua films Training Day, Tears Of The Sun and Brooklyn’s Finest. Blatt told KABC that Sloan was not seriously hurt.

Knight’s Death Row Records rose to prominence during the early 1990s with Straight Outta Compton producer Dr. Dre’s seminal album The Chronic. It was followed by string of hit albums from acts including Snoop Dogg and 2Pac and the soundtrack to the 1994 Above The Rim. Knight has had numerous run-ins with the law and is awaiting trial on charges he and actor-comic Katt Williams stole a camera from a paparazzo in Beverly Hills last year.

PREVIOUSLY, JANUARY 29, 6:36 PM: One man was killed and another injured today in a hit and run on the set of a commercial shoot for the upcoming N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton. The LA County Sheriff’s Department said homicide detectives were sent to a Rite-Aid parking lot in the 1200 block of West Rosecrans Avenue in Compton just before 3 p.m. to investigate the accident. Deputies said there no suspect information and that the investigation is ongoing. The surviving victim was taken to a hospital in unknown condition.

Former N.W.A rappers Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, who are producing Straight Outta Compton, were at the scene today, but it’s unclear whether either was there when the accident happened. Cube posted a photo on Instragram of the pair along with rapper The Game.

Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.

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