Suge Knight Gets New Lawyer In Last-Ditch-Effort To Avoid Life Sentence

Erin Staley

Former rap mogul Suge Knight may have just lost his best hope at freedom. Billboard reports that Suge Knight recently hired former prosecutor Stephen L. Schwartz to represent him in a murder case. Schwartz is the fifth attorney to take on Marion "Suge" Knight's murder case. He replaced Thomas Mesereau, who famously secured an acquittal for Michael Jackson on 2005 child molestation charges. Reportedly, Mesereau declined to provide a reason for his departure.

All of Suge Knight's attorneys have maintained that Suge Knight acted in self-defense. According to the LA Times, Knight's first attorney, James E. Blatt, claimed that Knight was attacked by four unidentified men, but video contradicts Knight's version of events. In a surveillance video, Knight is clearly seen arguing with two men, Sloan and Carter, before running both men over.

Ironically, Suge Knight's constant change of lawyers might be keeping him in jail even longer. According to Fox News, Mesereau's appearance on Suge Knight's legal team caused a three-month delay in the legal process to allow Mesereau time to file his own legal documents on Knight's behalf. It seems likely that Schwartz would need a similar amount of time.

The longer Knight stays in jail awaiting trial, the less likely it seems that he will be released anytime soon. A Los Angeles judge set bail at $10 million for Knight's second-degree murder charges, which Knight and his attorneys say he is unable to raise. Legal troubles and medical issues destroyed much of Knight's empire and ultimately cost him Deathrow Records. Despite repeated requests, the judge and prosecutor have been unwilling to lower bail, citing Knight's long and well known violent criminal history.

As previously reported in The Inquisitr, the road to Suge Knight's murder trial took a strange turn in May 2015. Shortly before Thomas Mesereau joined the legal team, Knight's then attorney, Matthew Fletcher, claimed he was contacted by representatives of Floyd "Money" Mayweather. Reportedly, the representatives asked about using Mayweather's winnings from his highly anticipated bout with Manny Pacquiao to post bail on Suge Knight's behalf. Mayweather's representatives denied Fletcher's claims, saying that while Mayweather and Knight were once close, the two hadn't spoken in several years. But could there be another reason for Mayweather's change of heart?

Suge Knight faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted on the robbery charge because of a prior felony conviction for assault with a deadly weapon. If he is also convicted of second-degree murder, Suge Knight faces life in prison.

[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]