Marion "Suge" Knight was charged with murder and held on $2 million bail after the controversial founder of Death Row Records was involved in a fatal hit-and-run Thursday afternoon, according to CBS Los Angeles. Knight surrendered to authorities early Friday morning and was interviewed by police for three hours, according to the Los Angeles Times. While Knight's lawyer admits that the mogul was behind the wheel when an unidentified 55-year-old man was killed and 51-year-old man was injured, he told the Associated Press that the incident was unintentional
"We are confident that once the investigation is completed, he will be totally exonerated," James Blatt said. "He was in the process of being physically assaulted by two men and in an effort to escape he unfortunately hit two [other] individuals. He was in his car trying to escape."
But witnesses who were at the scene dispute that claim, according to Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina. "The people we talked to say it looked like it was an intentional act," Corina told members of the media on Friday, adding that Knight had gotten into two separate arguments with the two men before the incident.
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that one of the altercations took place after filming had finished on a promotional shoot for the upcoming N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton. Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and the Game were reportedly all on set for the promotional shoot, but had left before the crash occurred. According to the L.A. Times, Knight followed the two men to the parking lot of a nearby fast-food restaurant 20 minutes after the altercation and struck them with his red pickup truck. "Looks like he drove backwards and struck the victims and drove forwards and struck them again," Corina said.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department issued a BOLO ("Be on the look out") alert to law enforcement agencies for Knight, adding that he was a suspect in a homicide investigation.
Knight's career has been populated by a series of arrests and legal woes. In 1997, the label head was sentenced to nine years in prison for violating probation stemming from an earlier assault case. He was released in 2001, but was forced to return to prison in 2003 after hitting a parking lot employee.
In 2008, he was arrested on suspicion of drug possession and aggravated assault and pleaded guilty to battery the following year.
"Even if I did [know who shot me], I don’t think that’s really important — who pulled the trigger and who I seen pull the trigger," said Knight. "When you walk in a place, you walk in one way and no matter what goes on, you leave the same — as a man. I was shot, and I wanted to make sure I got to the right place to patch some of these holes up."
Last October, Knight and actor-comedian Katt Williams were arrested on suspicion of stealing a camera from a female photographer. They were each charged with one count of robbery.