It's been a busy week in an even busier year for Suge Knight, the ailing former rap mogul and alleged murderer. After a few eventful court hearings, on Thursday Knight was given the bad news that he's going to have to stand trial for a January hit-and-run that killed one man and injured another. Knight then had to be taken to the hospital for an undisclosed medical problem.
This is the fifth time the former Death Row Records scion has been taken to the hospital on the same day as one of his court appearances, according to the Associated Press.
Along with decision to proceed with trial, the judge in the case lowered Knight's bail amount from $25 million to $10 million, and Knight's lawyer Matthew Fletcher suggested to TMZ that the latter is more manageable.
Knight is charged with murder for allegedly running over and killing a man named Terry Carter at a burger joint in Los Angeles after a scuffle on the set of the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton. Surveillance footage taken at the crime scene shows a truck colliding with two victims, Carter and Cle "Bone" Sloan. An attempted murder charge has been slapped on Knight in connection with Sloan's injury.
But in a Monday hearing, Sloan told the court that he would not testify against Knight. "I will not be used to send Suge Knight to prison," he said, adding that he wasn't a "snitch."
It was a setback for the prosecution, but it apparently didn't sway the judge from rejecting Knight's self-defense claim and deeming the case sufficiently strong for a murder trial.
Fletcher, Knight's attorney, has detailed a number of his client's health problems, along with a claim of self-defense. He suggested to TMZ—apparently his outlet of choice—that Knight's diabetes caused glaucoma, which in turn led to partial blindness, rendering him unable to see that Carter was in the path of his car. As of last fall, Knight also reportedly had a blood clot in one of his lungs.
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Long before this case, Knight had cultivated a reputation for intimidating people. It was a part of his business practices, according to Dan Charnas's comprehensive tome on the history of hip-hop, The Big Payback. And Sloan, who suffered numerous injuries in the incident, said Thursday that he "screwed up," seemingly blaming himself for Carter's death—a sequence of a events that he claimed not to remember clearly at the hearing.
With Knight seemingly incapacitated just about every time he appears in court and his reputation for intimidation—a practice that can obviously hinder a prosecution's ability to coax testimony out of witnesses—this murder trial is extremely unlikely to proceed without further drama.
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