February 12, 2015 / 2:58 AM / 4 years ago

Rap mogul Suge Knight hit with new charges in camera theft case

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight, already in custody in connection with a hit-and-run death, has now been charged with making a terroristic threat in connection with the 2014 theft of a camera from a celebrity photographer, a prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Rap mogul Suge Knight stands in court during his arraignment on murder charges at the Compton Courthouse in Compton, California February 3, 2015. REUTERS/Paul Buck

Knight, 49, and 43-year-old comedian Katt Williams had previously been charged with robbery in the Sept. 5 camera incident outside a Beverly Hills studio. Los Angeles County prosecutor Keri Modder disclosed the new count during a brief court hearing on Wednesday.

Modder declined to provide details on the evidence leading to the count and the music executive has not yet entered a plea.

Knight, the co-founder of influential hip-hop label Death Row Records, and Williams are due back in court on Feb. 19 to enter pleas before a preliminary hearing in the case. Neither attended Wednesday’s proceedings.

Modder also said she planned to request that the court forfeit Knight’s bail of $500,000 and set a new bail of $1 million.

Knight must remain in custody, however, because he is being held without bail in the hit-and-run case, which stems from a Jan. 29 altercation outside a burger shop in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton.

Prosecutors say Knight and another man began throwing punches at each other through the window of Knight’s pickup truck before he put the vehicle in reverse, knocking the man to the ground.

The rap tycoon then pulled forward, running over one man and striking the second before leaving the scene, according to prosecutors.

If Knight is convicted, he faces a sentence of 25 years to life under California’s three-strikes law, which gives stiffer sentences to those previously convicted of serious felonies.

Outside court, the music executive’s attorney, David Kenner, said there was no basis for the threat charge.

Kenner also said he had reviewed video surveillance of the burger shop and that it was possible that someone there may have brandished a gun.

“I think the facts may turn out to show that Mr. Knight was the subject of a full-on ambush,” Kenner said.

Knight and Williams previously pleaded innocent to robbery in the Beverly Hills case, and he has also pleaded not guilty to the murder and hit-and-run charges.

Knight has previous convictions from 1997 on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, according to court documents filed by prosecutors.

Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Peter Cooney

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