Suge Knight pleads not guilty to murder

Marion 'Suge' Knight faces the judge at his arraignment in Compton's L.A. Superior Court. | Pool/Paul Beck, EPA

Marion ‘Suge’ Knight faces the judge at his arraignment in Compton’s L.A. Superior Court. | Courtesy of Paul Buck, EPA/Pool

Marion “Suge” Knight, 49, pleaded not guilty today to all charges stemming from a fatal hit-and-run committed in Compton last week.

The rap mogul, who appeared at a Compton courthouse this morning, denied the charges for murder, attempted murder and hit-and-run that the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office filed Monday.

During the hearing, Knight appeared calm and collected, politely addressing the judge’s questions. Afterwards, he was rushed to the hospital, where the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said he would undergo “treatment and evaluation.”

Knight is accused of deliberately running over Terry Carter, 55, and Cle “Bone” Sloan, 51, in the parking lot of a Compton burger joint on Thursday afternoon after an argument during the filming of Straight Out of Compton, a biopic about rap group NWA. Carter died in the incident, while Sloan was hospitalized for his injuries.

Knight’s lawyer, David Kenner, said that his client did not hit the victims on purpose, and felt remorseful that Carter, a friend, had died.

“From what I understand, he was being attacked and was trying to get away from the attack,” Kenner told reporters outside of court.

Kenner said that he hadn’t yet reviewed the prosecution’s evidence, including video footage that may have captured the incident.

Sloan’s lawyer, Michael R. Shapiro, told reporters that his client is still “processing” what happened, and had suffered a mangled left foot.

“He’s not going to walk for a long time,” Shapiro said. Shapiro also mentioned the possibility of seeking a civil lawsuit against Knight to receive medical compensation for Sloan’s injuries.

If Knight is convicted, it could be considered a third strike, giving him a life sentence.

On Monday, a court commissioner revoked Knight’s $2 million bail because of this three-strikes candidacy and on the grounds that he was a possible flight risk. Another bail hearing has been set for Feb. 9 at Kenner’s request. The preliminary hearing date is set for Feb. 19.

The original presiding judge, John J. Cheroske, recused himself from the case at the beginning of the arraignment, saying that he had represented both victims as a lawyer in the past. Judge Ricardo Ocampo took over for Cheroske and will preside over the remaining pre-trial hearings.

This article was originally published on Neon Tommy.

You can follow Neon Tommy Staff Reporter Phoenix Tso on Twitter here or email her here. Additional reporting contributed by Daina Beth Solomon.

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