Suge Knight shakes things up.
Former Death Row head honcho and hip-hop hitmaker Marion "Suge" Knight is shaking things up in his current court battle. According to The Los Angeles Times, the tycoon-turned-con is hiring a new attorney to defend him against allegations that he made criminal threats to the man who directed the film Straight Outta Compton. Knight's decision to go with Dominique E. Baños instead of his former lawyer Matthew Fletcher, a man who had previously repped Suge during his ongoing murder case, was done to apparently clear up any potential conflicts of interest. We had previously reported that Knight and Fletcher had been the target of a motion filed by prosecutors saying that the duo had engaged in possible witness tampering and bribery.
The motion states that Fletcher had conversations with Knight and two others that demonstrated not only that they were going to be procuring witnesses to defend him, but that they were willing to pay for fabricated testimony to do so. Fletcher had denied this wrongdoing and insists that his words were taken out of context. During the the case's most recent hearing, a prosecutor asked the judge whether Suge's new attorney had ties to Fletcher. Baños, who was given the chance to respond, said, "I am not part of Mr. Fletcher’s firm." Outside the courtroom, she added that also had affiliation with any of Knight's other lawyers.
The Death Row Records co-founder is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 3 in the criminal threats case. He was originally indicted for making death threats to Straight Outta Compton filmmaker F. Gary Gray and has since pleaded not guilty. The whole thing started after Suge felt he was owed some money from the movie's impressive box office take and presumably got angry when things didn't go down as he would've liked. According to Fletcher's words following a previous court date, the only texts that were exchanged between Suge and F. Gary Gray reportedly read "you have family, I have family, God bless you." There's no denying that there's an ominous subtext to that kind of phrase, especially considering Suge's past misgivings, but the jury's figuratively still out until a verdict can be reached.