Suge Knight is jailed over parking lot punch. Board rules that the rap mogul violated his parole and sentences him to 10 months

By Gary Susman
Updated August 01, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
Marion Suge Knight
Credit: Suge Knight: BGM Photo/Splash News/NewsCom

For the second time this year, rap mogul Suge Knight has been found guilty of a parole violation and been sentenced to jail time. After an eight-hour parole board hearing on Thursday, the panel determined that the Death Row Records founder punched out a parking attendant at a nightclub on June 21 and sentenced him to 10 months behind bars, including the month he’s already spent since his arrest.

Knight was accused of hitting valet Medhi Lazrak because he was impatient over his car being blocked in. Knight had denied throwing the punch, and his attorney, Rose Kogeman, had announced in the weeks before the hearing that a security video and witnesses would vindicate the gangsta rap guru. Even Lazrak, talking to the Associated Press outside the hearing in Los Angeles, said, ”I never said I was hit by Knight. I don’t know how police got that idea.” Someone hit him, he said, but he did not see who it was.

But the board found the video too fuzzy to make out, and it discounted the testimony of Lazrak’s boss, Abbey Shilleh, defending Knight, since Shilleh had reportedly told police at the time of the incident that he had seen Knight hit Lazrak. ”The hearing officer is experienced and believed the witness was being evasive out of fear of retribution,” said Bill Sessa, a spokesman for the California Board of Prison Terms, to the Los Angeles Times. ”He gave more weight to his statement on the night of the incident.”

Knight served two months earlier this year on another parole violation for allegedly associating with gang members. In the late ’90s, he spent nearly five years in prison for another parole violation, stemming from a brawl in Las Vegas that took place hours before Tupac Shakur was fatally shot while riding in Knight’s car.