Prosecutors are claiming Suge Knight tried to buy witnesses in his murder case — but one of the rap mogul’s lawyers shot down the theory Thursday.
“I’ve never paid anyone, period, end of story,” lawyer Matt Fletcher told the Daily News ahead of a court hearing on the matter.
“As far as I know, (witnesses) haven’t been paid by anyone,” he said. “I don’t believe Suge Knight has the money to pay anyone.”
The Los Angeles District Attorney filed paperwork Wednesday claiming they have a recorded jail call in which Knight and Fletcher discussed paying large sums to witnesses who would say Knight was the victim of an armed assault before he hit two men with his Ford Raptor truck outside a Compton restaurant in January 2015, killing one of them.
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“That’s a fair motherf—ing investment, you know, 20, 25 thousand dollars to pay to these motherf—ers to get home?” Fletcher allegedly said during the call on March 16, 2015, according to the DA paperwork obtained by The News.
Fletcher claimed to The News he wasn’t referring to witnesses at that point but members of a biker group who supposedly had personal cellphone video related to the parking lot confrontation.
“We were sending people out to try to find versions of the videotape,” Fletcher told The News.
“It would be a wonderful investment. TMZ would pay them. Radar would pay them,” he added, suggesting the five-figure payments would actually come from media outlets.
Suge Knight pleads not guilty to threatening F. Gary Gray
“They’re taking it out of context,” he said of the jail call excerpt included in the DA’s filing.
Prosecutors are asking for an “inquiry” into Fletcher, calling it a precautionary measure to sidestep the possibility Knight might claim in a future appeal that the lawyer acted inappropriately.
They claim Fletcher and Knight also worked together to violate a court order and sell the main surveillance video of the parking lot incident to TMZ.com.
They say Knight, in a jail recording, gave the green light to TMZ.com to buy the video for a whopping $ 55,000.
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“They’re accusing me of trying to sell the tape to TMZ,” Fletcher told The News. “I wasn’t even on the case then. I didn’t have the videotape.”
The lawyer said he planned to ask the court why prosecutors were even allowed to listen to his calls with Knight in the first place.
Prosecutors said in their filing they were given access to certain calls involving Fletcher if Knight first called a third party and then Fletcher was conferenced in. They said the third party allegedly broke the expectation of attorney-client privilege.
“I find that to be rather disquieting,” Fletcher told The News.
Suge Knight murder trial date set for next year
Last week, Knight pleaded not guilty to charges he threatened director F. Gary Gray over Knight’s depiction in Gray’s blockbuster 2015 film “Straight Outta Compton.”
Prosecutors claim Knight threatened Gray, both verbally and via text, with bodily harm on August 8, 2014, if he did not acquiesce to his demands for either financial compensation or a stop to the film’s production.
Knight — whose real name is Marion Knight — has been in jail 2 ½ years as he awaits trial for the alleged murder of Carter and attempted murder of Cle “Bone” Sloan.
Knight’s lawyers have consistently argued Knight was attacked by a gun-toting Sloan in the Compton restaurant parking lot before Knight hit the gas on his truck to escape, hitting them both.
His murder trial has been set for early next year.
- suge knight
- straight outta compton
- gary gary
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