Two attorneys who formerly represented embattled former rap mogul Suge Knight have been indicted on conspiracy charges to bribe potential witnesses in hopes of freeing Knight, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Monday.
According to the DA’s office, Matthew Fletcher and Thaddeus Culpepper have been indicted on one count each of conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit subornation of perjury, conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact.
Culpepper also faces two additional conspiracy charges while Fletcher has been charged with an additional count of perjury.
Fletcher is accused of trying to pay off people who could provide favorable testimony at Knight’s trial, allegedly telling Knight that it would cost $20,000 to $25,000 to secure his freedom.
Knight was arrested after hitting Terry Carter and Cle “Bone” Sloan in his truck in a Compton, California, parking lot in 2015, killing Carter and injuring Sloan. Knight has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and attempted murder, asserting that acted in self-defense.He is currently awaiting trial.
According to the district attorney’s office, Fletcher told Knight that Sloan should be paid off for his testimony.
The district attorney’s office also said that Culpepper was allegedly told by a confidential informant in 2016 that he would be willing to testify that he saw weapons at the murder scene, even though the informant wasn’t at the scene at the time of the crime. Culpepper and Knight allegedly agreed to use the informant as a defense witness at trial.
Both attorneys face a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in jail if convicted as charged.
In a statement to TheWrap, Fletcher’s representative, attorney Mark Geragos, called the indictment “ill-conceived” and “just wrong.”
“This Indictment both legally and factually is ill-conceived and just wrong. Besides the blatant violation of the Attorney Client privilege the whole process leading up to the Indictment unsealed today is fatally flawed,” Geragos said. “Even more troubling is the chilling effect of the practice of criminal defense work.”
TheWrap has also reached out to Culpepper for comment.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.