Belfast Telegraph

Suge Knight in hit-and-run probe

Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge" Knight has turned himself in to authorities after his lawyer said the rap mogul accidentally ran over and killed a friend and injured another man as he fled attackers.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the incident was being investigated as a homicide and that Knight was a person of interest.

In a brief statement, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Knight was at the West Hollywood station with his lawyer and was being interviewed by homicide detectives.

No other information was released and there was no mention if Knight was being held.

Video provided by ONSCENE.TV showed Knight getting out of a private car at the sheriff's station and then leisurely walking into the building with companions and others who appeared to be law officers.

Officials said that a red pick-up truck struck the men in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant. A 55-year-old man died at a hospital and a 51-year-old man was injured.

"We are confident that once the investigation is completed, he will be totally exonerated," Knight's lawyer James Blatt said earlier.

Lt John Corina told reporters that the crash occurred in the parking lot of the restaurant in the Los Angeles-area city of Compton and then the driver took off.

The Sheriff's Department said in a statement that two people were in the parking lot when the red pick-up arrived and its driver became involved in an argument with them.

"The argument escalated and the driver backed up striking one of the victims. The driver then drove forward driving over both victims," the sheriff's statement said. "Various witnesses described the driver as being Marion Suge Knight."

The empty truck was found in a West Los Angeles parking lot, Corina said.

He said the rap mogul was seen driving a red pick-up truck 20 minutes earlier in a different part of town where a video was being shot.

Lawyer 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."

Knight founded Death Row Records, one of rap's leading labels, in the 1990s, releasing labels by artists like Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.

He later declared bankruptcy and the company was auctioned off.

Knight has a long history of run-ins with the law ranging from assaults to driving violations.

In November, he pleaded not guilty to a robbery charge filed over an incident in which a celebrity photographer accused him of stealing her camera in Beverly Hills. Because of prior convictions, he could face up to 30 years in prison.

He has prior felony convictions for armed robbery and assault with a gun. He pleaded no contest in 1995 and was sentenced to five years' probation for assaulting two rap entertainers at a Hollywood recording studio in 1992.

He also served timed for probation violations.

Last August, Knight was shot six times at a Los Angeles nightclub. No arrests have been made.

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