While disgraced rap mogul Suge Knight is still fighting his 2015 murder case, his legal team has to fight off accusations from prosecutors that he allegedly paid off witnesses of the crime.
On Thursday, Knight’s lawyer, Matt Fletcher, told the Daily News that despite what the prosecutors claim, neither he nor Knight has ever attempted to “buy” witnesses.
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“I’ve never paid anyone, period, end of story,” Fletcher said. “As far as I know, [witnesses] haven’t been paid by anyone.” The lawyer added that he does not believe Knight has the money to pay off anyone.
Paperwork reportedly filed by the Los Angeles District Attorney would argue differently, as it claims to have a recorded call from jail between Knight and Fletcher where they allegedly had an in-depth discussion over paying various witnesses to claim that “Knight was the victim of an armed assault” before he hit Cle “Bone” Sloan and the late Terry Carter with his red truck outside a Compton restaurant.
According to records from the DA (obtained by the Daily News), a conversation between Knight and Fletcher took place on March 16, 2015, with the lawyer allegedly discussing an amount to pay someone. “That’s a fair motherf**king investment,” Fletcher allegedly said. “You know, 20, 25 thousand dollars to pay to these motherf**kers to get home?”
The lawyer defends the alleged statements by saying that they were taken out of context; he was referring to members of a biker group who recorded the incident on their cell phones.
READ: Suge Knight Faces Indictment For Alleged Threats Aimed At Director F. Gary Gray
“We were sending people out to try to find versions of the videotape,” Fletcher explained to the Daily News. He added that the five-figure payment would come from outlets such as TMZ or Radar Online.
Prosecutors of the case argue that Knight and Fletcher conspired to “violate a court order” and sell the footage of the incident to TMZ.com for $55,000. They also are seeking to look into Fletcher as a “precautionary measure” in case there is a chance Knight would appeal in the future, claiming his lawyer acted inappropriately.
“They’re accusing me of trying to sell the tape to TMZ,” Fletcher claimed. “I wasn’t even on the case then. I didn’t have the videotape.”
Last week, the former Death Row Records CEO pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of threatening F. Gary Gray, verbally and via text, over his depiction in the 2015 N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton.
Suge Knight’s murder trial is set for January 8, 2018.