Two former attorneys for Suge Knight have been charged with attempting to bribe potential witnesses in the Death Row Record’s co-founder’s upcoming murder trial.
Knight is accused of hitting two men in a hit-and-run incident near the set of 2015’s N.W.A. biopic, Straight Outta Compton. One man was severely injured, while another – Terry Carter – was killed. He was also indicted in 2016 for threatening the movie’s director, F. Gary Gray.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office unsealed the indictment against Matthew Powell Fletcher and Thaddeus Julian Culpepper on Monday (March 5). The charges they face include bribery, accessory after the fact, and attempting to convince someone to commit perjury and more, as NPR reports.
Knight’s fiancée, Toi-Lin Kelly, is said to have texted his business partner Mark Blankenship, saying “Matt [Fletcher] had put some bread out there” to get witnesses to “come around”. The indictment claims Fletcher told Knight in March 2015 that witness Marvin Kincy “would say there were guns at the murder scene and they would give Marvin money for his testimony”, which would reinforce the record label honcho’s claims of self-defence, adding “20 to 25 thousand dollars was a fair investment to secure his freedom”.
Culpepper is said to have been told by a police informant that he wasn’t near the scene, but would testify on Knight’s behalf, to which the attorney is claimed to have agreed.
If found guilty, Fletcher and Culpepper could face a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in jail.
Dr Dre and Ice Cube were previously cleared in a wrongful death lawsuit involving Suge Knight and late Hollywood records co-founder Terry Carter after Carter’s family sued Knight for wrongful death and negligence and named Dre and Ice Cube as defendants.
The suit claimed at the time that the rappers hired gang members to provide security for the filming of Straight Outta Compton, and that it was those gang members who threatened Knight, leading to a panic that caused Carter’s death.