Suge Knight was slapped with a staggering $25 million bail Friday thanks to his prime candidacy as a major flight risk, according to a Los Angeles judge, and allegedly violent history of intimidating witnesses. The news caused Knight to collapse in the courthouse, and he was later rushed to a prison hospital for observation.
Knight’s attorney Matt Fletcher became perhaps the first lawyer ever to invoke the “Empire Defense,” accusing the prosecutor of being unduly influenced by the Fox television series. “It’s like she watches Empire and comes in and says, ‘He was an unrepentant and shameless criminal. Prosecute him,’” Fletcher said. But according to prosecutors determined to keep the murder suspect behind bars, the former death Row Records mogul, who already has two strikes under his belt, makes Lucious Lyon look like Carl Winslow.
In requesting the unusually high bail, the DA’s office rattled off a laundry list of violent acts they say Knight allegedly perpetrated against 26 different victims dating back to 2004, including threats to former N.W.A. rappers Dr. Dre and Ice Cube over the upcoming film Straight Outta Compton.
The upcoming Universal biopic is what allegedly brought Knight to Compton’s Tam’s Burgers on January 29, where he claims he was ambushed by gunmen before gunning his red SUV truck into two men, one of whom died on the scene. Knight stands accused of murder and attempted murder from the deadly incident, which was caught on camera. Knight has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
According to a court documents reviewed by The Daily Beast, Knight was upset he wasn’t getting paid for the use of his likeness in the film and sent threatening text messages in 2014 to an unidentified victim that read, “I will see u in person… u have kids just like me so let’s play hardball you bitch ass nigga” and “I’m from Bompton… time has arrived Faith in God keep people safe The Devils money can’t save no 1…I will make sure u an that faggit [Dr. Dre] and Taft High school graduate [Ice Cube] receive your hugs…”
The motion also claims Knight’s recent activities included money laundering and a scheme to “tax” out-of-state rappers and athletes as much as $30,000 just to work in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
The motion also claims Knight’s recent activities included money laundering and a scheme to “tax” out-of-state rappers and athletes as much as $30,000 just to work in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. A source in the music industry allegedly told investigators the extortion plot is jointly run by rival gangs the Bloods and the Crips, according to the motion.
According to the motion the source, a “well-known rapper’s” manager, told Sergeant Richard Biddle of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department that Knight, a Blood, and a Crip named Big U are allegedly in cahoots on the scheme: “The manager said he believes Suge Knight and Big U are actually working together to extort money from rappers and artists,” Biddle reported.
The imposing former defensive end may not have dangled Vanilla Ice off a balcony in the ‘90s to make him sign away the rights to the pop hit “Ice Ice Baby,” but Friday’s nearly 300-page motion submitted by Deputy Dist. Atty. Cynthia J. Barnes details Knight’s alleged recent criminal history and paints a damning portrait of the onetime hip-hop mogul.
Here are some of the motion’s highlights that allegedly justified that $25 million bail. It should be noted that the alleged incidents contained in the DA’s motion are merely reported allegations, and that no charges were brought against Knight in the below cases.
Read the rest here: