Two former lawyers of rap record producer and music executive Marion “Suge” Knight have been arrested for acting as “accessories after the fact” as part of the music mogul’s ongoing murder trial.
Matthew Fletcher and Thaddeus Culpepper were allegedly attempting to bribe eyewitnesses to help Mr Knight's case.
Both deny the allegations and are being held on $1m bail, according to Los Angeles County police.
The arrests stem from an August 2017 court filing by prosecutors in Mr Knight’s case that the former impresario and his attorneys had discussed bribing witnesses in the case.
Mr Knight is standing trial on charges that he drove his vehicle into Terry Carter and Cle "Bone" Sloan in parking lot in the Compton neighbourhood of Los Angeles in January 2015.
The incident allegedly took place after the men got into an argument while filming a commercial for the film Straight Outta Compton.
Mr Carter died of his injuries.
There is security camera footage from the burger stand where the incident took place which shows Mr Knight allegedly driving his car into men and fleeing the scene.
He later turned himself in to the police but has claimed he was acting in self-defence and pleaded not guilty. Mr Knight’s lawyers have based their case on claiming Mr Carter and Mr Sloan were in possession of guns at the time.
As the LA Times reported: “In a series of recorded phone calls beginning in early 2015, prosecutors say, Knight, Fletcher and others discussed paying witnesses to say they saw either the victims or others at the burger stand in possession of a gun.”
Normally the calls would have been protected by attorney-client privilege but the judge had allowed them in case they heard a third party on the calls, which would break the privilege rule.
Mr Knight has also been charged with robbery and threatening F Gary Gray, the film’s director. However, those are separate cases.
Mr Fletcher is currently on a two-year probation by the State Bar of California for unethical practices as well.
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