Rap mogul Suge Knight charged with murder

  • FILE – In this Oct. 30, 2014 file photo, rap music mogul Marion « Suge » Knight appears in court on a traffic warrant, in Las Vegas following his arrest as a fugitive in a California robbery case. A lawyer for Knight says the Death Row Records founder was at the wheel of a car that struck two men, killing one, in a Los Angeles suburb. The accident in Compton occurred shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/John Locher, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE – This August 2008 file photo provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows rap music mogul Marion « Suge » Knight. Knight and two other people were injured by gunfire in at a West Hollywood nightclub early Sunday morning, Aug. 24, 2014, just hours before Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, File) (The Associated Press)

  • Jan. 29, 2015: A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigator photographs the scene of an accident at a parking lot in Compton, Calif. A lawyer for Marion ‘Suge’ Knight, a Death Row Records founder, says Knight was driving a car involved in an accident. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

  • FIL: Rap music mogul Marion « Suge’ Knight walks out of the Los Angeles County jail, in Los Angeles. (AP)

  • FILE – In this Aug. 15, 1996, file photo, rapper Tupac Shakur, left, and a founder of Death Row Records, Marion « Suge » Knight, attend a voter registration event in South Central Los Angeles. A lawyer for Knight says he was at the wheel of a car involved in an accident in a Los Angeles suburb. It occurred in Compton shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Frank Wiese, File) (The Associated Press)

Rap mogul Marion « Suge » Knight has been arrested on a murder charge in a fatal hit-and-run in Los Angeles.

Sgt. Diane Hecht of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s information office said Knight was arrested at about 3 a.m. and is being held on $2 million bail.

Hecht says Knight is being held at the West Hollywood sheriff’s station.

Knight turned himself in to authorities early Friday after his attorney said the rap mogul accidentally ran over and killed a friend and injured another man as he fled attackers.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Knight and his attorney James Blatt arrived at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood station early Friday. 

« We are confident that once the investigation is completed, he will be totally exonerated, » Blatt told the Associated Press by phone late Thursday.

MyFoxLA first reported that Knight was driving the red pickup truck that struck two men shortly before 3 p.m. local time in Compton, Calif., outside Los Angeles. The injured man was taken to a hospital and his condition was not immediately known. No identifying information about either man was available. 

The Times reported that the tragedy stemmed from an altercation that occurred on the set of the forthcoming film « Straight Outta Compton, » a biopic about the rap group NWA. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Capt. John Corina said that the two men Knight argued with went to a nearby restaurant about 20 minutes after the confrontation 

Corina alleged Knight followed the men there in a red truck and ran them over in the parking lot. Witnesses told the paper the truck hit the men, then backed over them before fleeing the scene. The incident is being investigated as a homicide.

« The people we talked to say it looked like it was an intentional act, » Corina told reporters.

However, attorney Blatt claimed it was an accident.

« He was in the process of being physically assaulted by two men and in an effort to escape he unfortunately hit two (other) individuals, » the lawyer said. « He was in his car trying to escape. »

The empty truck was found late Thursday night in a West Los Angeles parking lot, Corina said.

Knight co-founded Death Row Records with Dr. Dre in 1991 and built it into the first successful mainstream rap label behind acts like NWA, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur. Knight was at the wheel of the BMW Shakur was riding in when he was shot and killed following a boxing match in Las Vegas in 1996. Tupac’s death resulted in an exodus of artists from the label, and Knight was eventually forced to declare bankruptcy and auctioned off the company. 

Knight has had repeated confrontations with the law. In 1997, he was sentenced to nine years in prison for violating the terms of his probation in an earlier assault case. He was released in 2001. In 2008, he was arrested in Las Vegas on suspicion of drug possession and aggravated assault and pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor battery the following year. He is currently awaiting trial alongside comedian Katt Williams on charges of second degree robbery in connection with the theft of a photographer’s camera. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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