Nick Ut // Associated Press
Suge Knight and his attorney Matthew Fletcher are accused of attempting to bribe witnesses ahead of the former rap mogul's murder trial, prosecutors revealed on Wednesday (August 9).
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office based the allegations on a series of 2015 prison phone calls between Knight, who was in jail, and his attorney, Fletcher, that was made into a filing that became public on Thursday (August 10).
According to the released transcripts, Knight, Fletcher, Knight's fiancée Toi-Lin Kelly and business partner Mark Blankenship purportedly "had an understanding that they were going to assist the defendant in procuring witnesses for his defense, which included payments for fabricated testimony."
The persons involved in the calls discuss paying as much as $25,000 to witnesses to say the victims or anyone else at the burger stand, where Knight charged his truck into two men, one whom died, were armed at the time, furthering Knight's claim that he was acting in self-defense.
Fletcher denied the claims of bribery to The New York Daily News. "I've never paid anyone, period, end of story," Fletcher told the publication, which initially reported on the bribery allegations. "I don't believe Suge Knight has the money to pay anyone."
Although conversations between Knight and Fletcher would typically be confidential, because Knight phoned his lawyer through a third party, the conversations reportedly are no longer protected by confidentiality laws.
Just last week, Knight pleaded not guilty to additional charges of threatening Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray.