A man who Marion "Suge" Knight ran over told authorities he was upset with the former rap music mogul and punched him through the window of the truck before a deadly encounter that left his friend dead.
Cle "Bone" Sloan testified Monday about the day he and friend Terry Carter were hit by a pickup truck driven by Knight, the co-founder of Death Row Records.
But Sloan refused to identify Knight as the man behind the wheel when he was struck outside a Compton burger stand on Jan. 29. He said he didn't remember specifics of the fight and does not want to be a "snitch."
"I will not be used to send Suge Knight to prison," Sloan, an adviser on the upcoming film "Straight Outta Compton," said, adding that he was only on the stand because he was subpoenaed.
Sloan's testimony was offered during a preliminary hearing Monday during which a judge will determine whether there's enough evidence for Knight to stand trial on murder, attempted murder, and hit-and-run charges. Authorities contend Knight intentionally hit Sloan and Carter. But Knight's attorney Matt Fletcher says his client was ambushed and was trying to escape an attack when he hit the men.
A retired Army colonel pleaded guilty to negotiating his post-military employment with a helicopter company that did business with the Defense Department office he ran while still in uniform, according to court records filed Tuesday by U.S. government attorneys.
The former officer, Norbert Vergez, caused the terms of a contract to be adjusted so that the company would be paid faster, said a plea agreement detailing the charges. Vergez also failed to disclose on his ethics form that he had received a $30,000 check from a second company for relocation expenses. Officers of Vergez's seniority are typically allowed to be reimbursed by Defense Department for their final moving expenses.
The companies are not named in the records, which were filed in U.S. District Court in Alabama. But the documents describe MD Helicopters in Mesa, Arizona, and Patriarch Partners, a private equity firm in New York. Both companies are owned by Wall Street executive Lynn Tilton.
Vergez, 49, went to work for Tilton three months after retiring from military service in November 2012. Attorneys for Vergez did not respond to a request for comment.
The Associated Press reported in March 2014 that Vergez and Tilton were in unusually close contact for more than a year before he retired.
In an emailed statement, Patriarch Partners said it and MD Helicopters cooperated fully with the government's investigation. "Mr. Vergez's plea agreement does not contain any allegations of improper conduct by MD Helicopters, Patriarch Partners, or any of its personnel," according to the statement.
The Supreme Court has passed up an early chance to review a contested North Carolina election law that opponents say limits the ability of African-Americans to cast ballots.
The high court intervened in October to order that the law remain in effect for the fall elections after a lower court ruling blocking part of the law.
But the justices on Monday wiped away their earlier order by rejecting the state's appeal of that lower court ruling. The federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia had blocked a part of the law that eliminated same-day registration during early voting in North Carolina.
A trial is set for July in the lawsuit filed by civil rights groups, and the issue of voting restrictions could return to the Supreme Court before the 2016 elections.
North Carolina is among several Republican-led states that have passed election laws imposing photo identification requirements and reducing the number of days set aside for early voting, among other provisions. Officials have said the measures are needed to prevent voter fraud. But critics have called the laws thinly veiled efforts to make it harder for Democratic-leaning minorities to vote.
Protesters who demonstrated inside the U.S. Supreme Court are facing the threat of a year in jail and stiff fines, a sign that prosecutors and the justices themselves are losing patience over the courtroom interruptions after the third protest in just over a year.
Five people arrested last week after voicing displeasure with court decisions that removed limits on political campaign contributions now face charges including one that carries a maximum jail term of a year and up to a $100,000 fine — a sharp escalation from the possible penalties sought after two earlier protests.
A leader of the group behind the protests would not rule out future demonstrations, despite what he called an effort to crack down on the courtroom disturbances. "We are not going to be silenced," said Kai Newkirk, whose group 99Rise opposes the influence of big money in elections.
While protests on the sidewalk outside the U.S. Supreme Court are common, until last year demonstrators had rarely broken the decorum of oral arguments inside the courtroom. In February 2014, however, Newkirk was removed from the courtroom after he stood and called on the court to overturn its 2010 Citizens United decision, which freed corporations and labor unions from some limits on campaign spending. It was the first protest to disrupt an argument session in more than seven years.