Los Angeles - Marion "Suge" Knight's lawyer argues that a murder case against the former rap music mogul should be dismissed because one of the men he is accused of running over with his pickup truck did not identify him in court.
Murder, attempted murder and hit-and-run charges against the Death Row Records co-founder should be thrown out based on the testimony of a man who was seriously injured in January, attorney Matt Fletcher contends in a motion filed before a hearing Friday.
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Knight, 50-year-old, has pleaded not guilty to hitting Cle "Bone" Sloan and another man who later died.
Sloan refused to identify Knight while testifying at a hearing last month, but he gave detectives a lucid account after being struck and said he started a fight before the crash in the parking lot of a Compton burger stand.
A response filed by prosecutor Cynthia Barnes points to Sloan's statements to detectives and other evidence to support their case, including Knight's unique nickname, "Suge."
Fletcher contends that is not enough.
"There is nowhere in this transcript that Mr. Sloan ever identifies Marion Knight, the defendant, as a murderer," Fletcher wrote. "There is nowhere in the entire transcript that Mr. Sloan even identifies Marion Knight as a driver of the red truck in question; the red truck that hit the victims."
Fletcher has said his client hit the men when he was fleeing an ambush. A trial has been scheduled for July 7.
The Friday hearing in the murder case would coincide with proceedings in a separate robbery case, which was delayed this week when Knight refused to leave his jail cell. He said he was too sick to come to court Wednesday, but Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen said he would order Knight to be forcibly brought in Friday if necessary.
"No one refuses to come to my court," Coen said Wednesday.
Knight was a key player in the gangster rap scene that flourished in the 1990s, and his label once listed Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg among its artists. He lost control of the company after it was forced into bankruptcy.
Knight has prior felony convictions for armed robbery and assault with a gun. He pleaded no contest in 1995 and was sentenced to five years' probation for assaulting two rap entertainers at a Hollywood recording studio in 1992.