Former hip-hop music mogul Marion "Suge" Knight pled not guilty to murder and other charges Tuesday morning in Compton, Calif. courtroom after he struck two men with his pickup truck last week.
Prosecutors allege that Knight intended to run down a friend and another man after an argument on a movie set. One of the men was killed.
Attorney James Blatt says Knight accidentally ran over the men on Thursday as he tried to escape a vicious attack. He turned himself in to police on Friday.
Knight's initial bail of $2 million was revoked Monday after a court commissioner agreed with authorities that he was a potential flight risk and could intimidate witnesses.
The bail ruling came after detectives told a judge the 49-year-old founder of Death Row Records could face a lengthy prison sentence because of a violent criminal past and had the potential to intimidate witnesses, Los Angeles County sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said.
Knight was at the center of one of the most notorious rap conflicts of the 1990s, pitting Tupac Shakur against Biggie Smalls in an East Coast-West Coast rivalry.
Knight was sent to prison for nearly five years for badly beating a rival with Shakur at a Las Vegas hotel, just hours before Shakur was fatally shot while riding in Knight's car just east of the Strip.
In the current case, Knight struck two men with his pickup truck on in a parking lot. The collision killed his friend, Terry Carter, 55, and injured Cle "Bone" Sloan, 51, an actor and film consultant.
Authorities have said Knight argued with Sloan earlier at a location for the film "Straight Outta Compton" about the rise of the rap group N.W.A. and then was told by sheriff's deputies providing security to leave.
The argument resumed in the parking lot where Knight and Sloan exchanged punches through a window of the pickup truck before the two men were run down, authorities said.
Blatt has said Knight was attacked by four people, including Sloan, and that Knight hit the gas and fled in fear.
The incident came less than six months after Knight was shot six times at a West Hollywood nightclub in August — the second shooting he has survived. No arrests have been made in that case.
At 6-foot-4 and weighing 325 pounds, Knight is an imposing figure who is credited, in part, with helping create Death Row Records when he strong-armed another label to release Dr. Dre from his contract, said Chuck Creekmur, CEO of allhiphop.com.
Knight and Dre later had a falling out, and Dre left the record company that eventually declared bankruptcy and was auctioned off.
In November, Knight pleaded not guilty to a robbery charge filed after a celebrity photographer accused him of stealing her camera in Beverly Hills. Because of prior convictions, he could face up to 30 years in prison in that case.