One current and one former attorney for rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight have been indicted on charges including conspiring to bribe potential witnesses in his upcoming murder trial, authorities said Monday.
Matthew Fletcher and Thaddeus Culpepper were also charged with conspiracy to commit subornation of perjury, conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact to a felony, Los Angeles County prosecutors said. The newly unsealed indictment says Fletcher attempted to pay off witnesses who could provide favorable testimony at Knight’s trial, telling Knight in the weeks after his arrest that it would take $20,000 to $25,000 in payouts to secure his freedom.
Knight, the co-founder of Death Row Records, remains jailed while awaiting trial for running over two men in January 2015, killing one. He has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder.
The indictment says Fletcher suggested to Knight that the surviving victim should be among those paid off for testimony. Culpepper is accused of arranging with a confidential informant to provide false testimony at trial that he saw weapons at the crime scene, which could bolster claims that Knight was acting in self-defense. The attorneys were released Monday on their own recognizance after a court appearance. They’re scheduled to be arraigned March 16. Both men have denied any wrongdoing. Culpepper said he’s excited that the indictment will give him a chance to argue against the practices of the district attorney’s office.