Accusations of witness tampering against defense attorneys for Marion “Suge” Knight were just a few factors included in unsealed court documents, with financial bribes to a witness as high as $25,000.
The documents from the January 24 case were revealed to the public on Monday (March 5), the Los Angeles Times reports. Attorney Thaddeus Culpepper and former defense attorney Matthew Fletcher were both charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit subornation of perjury, conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and serving as accessories.
The charges are connected to Knight’s 2015 murder case. The 52-year-old was accused of killing Terry Carter after running him over with a car near the set of the NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton. Knight has denied the charges and has continuously claimed his actions were in self-defense after believing there were men out to kill him.
Investigators never found any weapons at the scene, but prosecutors claim Culpepper and Fletcher were willing to pay a witness for saying he saw guns. A police informant approached Knight’s attorneys shortly after the late January 2015 incident, telling the lawyers he would be willing to defend Knight for a fee.
The informant also spoke to Knight on more than one occasion. He was later told by Knight to get in contact with his lawyers. The amount reportedly requested or suggested to the informant was $25,000.
“These … got a price; let’s get that … price paid,” Fletcher said, according to the transcript. “I told Suge, ‘You can always make some more money, you can’t make any more freedom though.'”
“And you all went over there and you saw these guns removed from these two people,” Fletcher told the informant. “Yes, yes. Fine, dude, you’re done. Here’s your money.” Fletcher also met with the informant face to face to show him surveillance footage of the incident.
The indictment also revealed the informant spoke to Culpepper about receiving funds. “I’ll do whatever … but you know what, I’m gonna need a few dollars … maybe later down the line,” the informant told Culpepper. “Of course, of course,” Culpepper responded.
Culpepper and Fletcher were freed after their indictment and arrest on Monday. Both men have claimed they’ve done anything wrong. Knight’s case has been flooded with headlines unrelated to the actual case and instead masked with accusations of misconduct from both sides.
If found guilty, Culpepper and Fletcher face up to three years and eight months in prison. Their next court date is set for March. 16.
Knight’s fiancee, Toi-Lin Kelly, is also facing a three-year jail sentence for witness tampering for allegedly connecting Knight to documentary filmmakers during his time in jail. The three-way calls were in violation of his court order limiting his jail communications.