Los Angeles judge orders rap mogul 'Suge' Knight to stand trial for murder

Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:03pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles judge on Thursday ordered rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight to stand trial for murder in the January hit-and-run death of a man outside a hamburger stand, rejecting a bid by Knight's lawyer to have the case dismissed.

Knight, 49, has pleaded not guilty to charges including murder and attempted murder stemming from the incident in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton that followed an argument on the set of a commercial for the film "Straight Outta Compton."

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen made his ruling after a preliminary hearing to consider evidence. Knight is accused of deliberately running over 55-year-old Terry Carter, who later died, and another man with his pickup truck.

If convicted, the co-founder of the influential hip hop label Death Row Records would face a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

"It appeared to me it was not an attempt to escape. It was an attempt at murder," the judge said.

After the hearing, Knight was taken to the hospital for a medical emergency, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida.

Knight has complained of health problems and been hospitalized at least three other times after court hearings this year.

Knight's attorney, Matthew Fletcher, during the hearing asked the judge to dismiss the case. He argued the three or four men, including Carter and Cle "Boan" Sloan, who confronted Knight at the hamburger stand, were armed with a gun, and that Knight defended himself and then fled.   Continued...

Former rap mogul Marion "Suge'' Knight appears in court in Los Angeles April 8, 2015, on charges that he and comedian Micah "Katt" Williams stole a photographer's camera in Beverly Hills. REUTERS/Irfan Khan/Pool