Suge Knight and George Zimmerman have something in common, according to a lawyer for the fallen rap mogul. Knight, who is in jail on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, will evoke the “stand your ground" defense popularized by Zimmerman in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.
"[Suge] is entitled to stand his ground and defend himself if reasonably necessary, to pursue an assailant until the danger of death or bodily injury has passed,” lawyer Matthew Fletcher said, referencing California’s version of the “stand your ground” law.
Knight ran over two men, Cle “Bone” Sloan and Terry Carter, in the parking lot of a Compton burger joint in January. Sloan was injured and Carter was killed.
He claims the men are former gang members who were carrying guns and attempted to ambush him. Surveillance footage from the fatal hit-and-run shows Knight, 49, hitting Sloan, reversing, and then driving forward and running over Carter. The Death Row Records co-founder asserts that he mistakenly hit Carter in an attempt to flee to safety. Fletcher — and Knight’s fiancée —believe the video substantiates his claim. "It's clear as day from the video Suge was in harm's way and I am thankful he was able to get out of the way,” the unnamed woman told TMZ.
The opposing side see the footage as working against Knight, despite what appears to be a weapon being removed from Sloan’s pocket after he was hit. (His manager says it was a walkie talkie.)
According to the justifiable homicide defense cited by Fletcher, people have the right to protect themselves “even if safety could have been achieved by retreating.”
Knight’s next court date is March 20.
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(Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)