Suge Knight’s Former Lawyers Arrested on Accessory Charges
Two of embattled rap mogul Suge Knight's former lawyers were arrested and charged with being "accessories after the fact."
Matthew Fletcher and Thaddeus Culpepper were both taken into custody on Thursday (Jan. 25), with Fletcher being arrested at a Long Beach, Calif., courthouse and Culpepper being arrested at his home a few hours later, reports the Los Angeles Times.
It is unclear whether the two attorneys' charges are in relation to Suge's ongoing murder trial, where he is accused of murdering Terry Carter and striking Cle "Bone" Sloan with his truck on the set of Straight Outta Compton in 2015.
"The case is very complex in nature, requiring further review by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office," the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement about the matter. "Mr. Culpepper and Mr. Fletcher were released from custody [Fri. Jan. 26], pending an evaluation into the complexities of the case."
Back in August, Suge, the lawyer duo and others were accused of witness tampering and bribery in the case by prosecutors. Allegations the attorneys deny. Prosecutors claim investigators had "gathered evidence of possible witness tampering, bribery, conspiracy to violate a court order and obstruction of justice on the part of attorney Fletcher."
Prosecutors say they have recorded phone calls from 2015 of Fletcher, Knight and others discussing paying witnesses to change their account of what happened on the night Carter was killed, and tried to get someone to say they saw a gun being brandished on the scene. "And you all went over there and you saw these guns removed from these two people," Fletcher said in one call, according to prosecutors. "Yes, yes. Fine, dude, you're done. Here's your money."
Phone calls like these are typically protected by attorney-client privilege, but a judge allowed prosecutors to listen in if Fletcher was linked in as a third party. Knight has previously complained about police monitoring his calls.
Culpepper is said to have agreed to be an informant in the plot. He is also believed to be the individual who leaked evidence of surveillance video from the crime scene to media outlets.
Suge'a trial is set to begin this month.
See 22 Hip-Hop-Related Police Raids