Valet says it wasn't Suge who punched him. Both the alleged victim and a security videotape back Knight's claim of innocence, his lawyer says

By Gary Susman
July 09, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

It could be weeks before rap mogul Suge Knight, currently jailed in Los Angeles over a possible parole violation, gets a Board of Prison Terms hearing to determine whether he’ll go free or stay behind bars for up to a year. So his attorney is trying the case now, in public. Last week, Rose Kogeman announced she had deposed eight witnesses who testified that the Death Row Records founder did not punch a parking valet outside an L.A. nightclub on June 21. Now, she says, she has a nightclub security video and the parking attendant’s own statement that back Knight’s assertion of innocence.

Last month, police said that Knight, who already spent two months behind bars this year for another parole violation (allegedly associating with gang members), had struck the parking attendant outside Papa’s nightclub for not retrieving his car quickly enough. But Kogeman says the valet has testified on Knight’s behalf before the Parole and Community Services Division. ”He told them that there was no way that Mr. Knight could have hit him,” Kogeman told MTV News, ”since he was hit from behind and he could see Mr. Knight in front of him.” Kogeman told the Associated Press that the security video, which she presented to parole officials, corroborates the attendant’s story. ”The video does show a guy walking up behind the valet,” she said.

The California Board of Prison Terms has not responded to Kogeman’s announcements by scheduling a hearing for Knight. ”We’re treating this case like we would treat any other,” board spokesman Bill Sessa told MTV News. ”The statements obviously will be considered at the hearing, but nothing has changed on our end.”