Marion “Suge” Knight‘s upcoming murder trial may be pushed back after a judge told his former lawyer to take a bow (Rihanna voice.) A federal judge gave the dueces Monday to Thaddeus Culpepper, the “Death Row” co-founder’s ex- attorney, after an indictment for witness tampering, The Associated Press reported.
Culpepper, along with Knight’s other former attorney, Matthew Fletcher, were accused of several big charges, including offering to pay witnesses $20,000 to $25,000 to lie under oath, Reuters reported. He allegedly may have arranged with a potential witness, who turned out to be a confidential informant, to give false testimony that he saw weapons at the crime scene. This “lying” was a means to help support claims that Knight acted in self-defense when he fatally ran over two men outside a Compton burger stand in January 2015.
Knight, 52, had pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder before Culpepper was dismissed by Los Angeles County Judge Ronald S. Coen over the indictment.
The controversial rap mogul fought to keep Culpepper on his defense team despite the investigation into the tampering allegations, which came down earlier this year, according to AP.
Culpepper vehemently denied the allegations in the grand jury indictment made as a result of the “pure retaliation” of prosecutors, he said. The lawyer also wants to fight the indictment, saying, “We’ve come very close to being able to prove criminal procedural fraud on their part,” Reuters reported.
If found guilty, Fletcher and Culpepper face a possible maximum sentence of three years and eight months in jail, according to the Los Angeles district attorney’s office. Knight has sought the counsel of another attorney to represent him.
The rap mogul’s trial is slated to start on April 9.
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