Rap label head's office raided in murder case©Associated Press
November 15, 2002
LOS ANGELES -- Authorities on Thursday raided the record label and homes of rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight, a figure in an East Coast-West Coast rap feud that some believe led to the killings of two major stars.
A sheriff's spokesman said Knight is not considered a suspect in the case that led to the raids and three other arrests: the June gang-related murder of a man in Compton.
Theodore Peter Kelly, 29, was arrested at the offices of Tha Row Records, formerly known as Death Row Records. Arrested elsewhere were Michael Leroy Payne, 25, and Kordell Depree Knox, 37. All were held without bail on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.
Knox is a former sheriff's deputy who was fired Nov. 1 because of his suspected involvement in an assault with a deadly weapon, Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Alba Yates said.
A total of 16 search warrants were served at Knight's homes and at other homes and sites in the Los Angeles and Las Vegas areas.
Although Knight was not considered a suspect, Deputy Darren Harris said there was "some connection" to Tha Row Records.
Knight and his record label have been at the center of an East Coast-West Coast rap feud that some believe was behind the unsolved killings of rappers Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G.
Knight was riding in a car with Shakur in Las Vegas in 1996 when another vehicle pulled alongside and someone opened fire, killing Shakur. Knight has said he couldn't see who fired the shots.
Shakur had been feuding with the Notorious B.I.G., who was shot to death six months later in Los Angeles. Both killings remain unsolved.
Two other former associates of Knight have been shot to death this year.
Alton McDonald, 37, a former Death Row Records production manager, was killed in April as he pumped gas at a Los Angeles service station. Henry Smith, 33, who designed the label's electric chair logo, was killed as he sat in his parked sport utility vehicle last month.
Knight was released from prison in August after serving five years for violating probation by getting into a fight in a Las Vegas hotel. The altercation occurred hours before Shakur was killed.
© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-893-8111
From the Times wire desk
From the AP