Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight is expected to remain jailed through the weekend as he faces murder charges for allegedly running over two men with his truck, killing one and initially fleeing the scene.
Knight, 49, was being held in lieu of $2 million bail, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Trina Schrader said.
His attorney, James Blatt, told the Los Angeles Times his client is not expected to make bail until Monday, at the earliest.
The hit-and-run occurred at 2:55 p.m. Thursday in the parking lot of Tam’s Burgers in the 1200 block of West Rosecrans Avenue, near Central Avenue in Compton.
Knight allegedly drove his pickup truck backward and forward, killing Terry Carter, 55, and injuring 51-year-old Cle “Bone” Sloan, who was reportedly released after being treated at a hospital.
Blatt, confirmed his client was behind the wheel of the pickup that struck the men, but said he acted out of fear in trying to escape as many as four people who attacked him. He also claimed Knight had been unaware he hit the two men with the pickup, which was later found in a Westwood parking lot.
But Lt. John Corina, a sheriff’s homicide detective, told reporters that investigators believe Knight intentionally struck the men and was not acting out of a reasonable fear.
Knight, accompanied by Blatt, arrived at the sheriff’s West Hollywood station in a black Mercedes-Benz at 12:45 a.m. Friday morning. He was placed under arrest at 3 a.m. after being questioned.
Corina told reporters Knight had gotten into an argument at a film shoot for a promotional video for “Straight Out of Compton,” a biopic of the Compton rap group N.W.A.
Knight was told to leave but the argument resumed about 20 minutes later at the eatery roughly three miles away from the video shoot.
Corina alleged the 51-year-old victim exchanged punches with Knight through the open window of his truck before the rapper intentionally ran him over, then struck Carter while accelerating forward.
“We are handling it as a homicide,” Corina told reporters at the scene.
Knight’s lawyer described Carter as a friend of his client’s, and Corina said the victim was not believed to have been involved in the altercation with Knight.
Friends said Carter, a Compton native also known as “Pops,” spent much of his time working with troubled youths and trying to guide them away from criminal pursuits.
Sloan is an actor, filmmaker and activist who has been featured in such films as “Training Day,” “Tears of the Sun” and “End of Watch.”
Knight is awaiting trial on a robbery charge stemming from the alleged theft of a camera from a paparazzo in Beverly Hills last September. He is charged in that case, along with comedian Micah “Katt” Williams, and faces up to 30 years to life in prison if convicted in the robbery case. Knight, a Compton native and former football player, co-founded Death Row Records, which in its heyday in the early 1990s generated revenues of up to $100 million per year.
He helped launch some of rap’s biggest acts, including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur, and was with Shakur the night he was slain in 1996. His Death Row Records pushed West Coast Rap to prominence at a time when the genre was dominated by East Coast rappers.
Knight served five years in prison for assault and federal weapons violations and, after his release in 2001, spent another 10 months behind bars for violating parole by hitting a Hollywood nightclub valet.
He was shot a half-dozen times last August at a Los Angeles-area nightclub. No arrests have been made in that case.