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Former Suge Knight attorney appears in Los Angeles court after judge issues bench warrant – Press Telegram

A lawyer he briefly represented Marion “Suge” Knight in what was a murder case at the time, he did not appear in court on time on Tuesday, May 17 for a conspiracy and perjury sentence, prompting a judge to issue an arrest warrant which was later withdrawn after the defendant appeared. . four hours later.

Los Angeles County High Court Judge George Lomeli told Matthew Powell Fletcher that he “seriously considered” returning her to the next court hearing, but said she would accept the 57-year-old defendant’s explanation that he thought the his sentence was scheduled for a day later.

“If you arrive a minute late, a second late, I’ll stop you next time,” the judge told Fletcher about his sentence, which is now set for Friday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.

Fletcher pleaded guilty Feb. 16 to a felony count of conspiracy to obstruct justice in Knight’s case and sworn perjury stemming from a state-of-the-art disciplinary process involving a separate murder case.

According to his agreement, he is expected to receive five years of probation, but no prison sentence. The agreement also requires him to resign from the California State Attorney’s Office.

“I thought my sentence was tomorrow … I literally didn’t remember it being today,” Fletcher told the judge. “I just want to end this.”

He asked the judge to “accept my apologies” and indicated that he had given up state advocacy, but said he wanted time to review a lengthy stipulation of disqualification.

Deputy prosecutor Stefan Mrakich asked the judge to order Fletcher’s arrest during his afternoon court appearance, saying “this is an ongoing game that Mr. Fletcher is playing with us.”

The prosecutor said he and his colleague Phil Stirling wanted time to meet with their bosses to determine whether they would seek a two-year state prison sentence that Fletcher could face if he did not finish and show proof of his lifelong resignation from state law. on Tuesday and if he did not appear for his conviction.

The judge stated that he was inclined to uphold the original indictment, but again warned Fletcher, “Don’t be late.”

Fletcher, a Long Beach attorney, has practiced for more than 24 years.

Under the last-minute agreement reached with prosecutors while jurors deliberated on his case, Fletcher agreed not to practice law in California or apply for reinstatement in the State Bar Association.

“He was smart because the jury was going to convict him of four to five charges,” Stirling told the city’s out-of-court news service after the statement was announced.

The prosecutor noted that it was the “wildest and most dramatic case” he had tried in three decades.

Fletcher portrayed Knight for a short time in a case in which the former rap mogul finally failed to oppose manslaughter by running over a man with a pickup truck in the parking lot of a Compton burger joint.

Fletcher was indicted by a Los Angeles County grand jury just over four years ago on a charge each of conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to swear, conspiracy to obstruct justice and complicit in the Knight case. He was also charged with a sworn oath charge involving his testimony at a state attorney’s hearing on whether he had sent a text to a defendant’s brother in another case and provided him with his bank information.

Another of Knight’s former lawyers, Thaddeus Culpepper, 48, was also charged.

In his closing argument during Fletcher’s trial, Mrakich said Fletcher and others were involved in a conspiracy to have the case against Knight dismissed or Knight acquitted by false testimony when they knew he was guilty.

Fletcher, who acted as his own lawyer, said he proved the whole theory of how the case works was “wrong” and accused prosecutors of committing personal attacks “when they know what they are saying is nonsense.”

“There is no evidence that I had given anything to anyone, anything,” he said, and told the panel that he challenged prosecutors to call a witness to say he offered to pay anyone not even a penny.

“They have no evidence that I … entered into a conspiracy with anyone,” Fletcher said.

Stirling told the jury in his rebuttal argument that Fletcher is “a dishonest person at the highest level,” arguing that Fletcher “repeatedly lied to her.”

“You can’t have a justice system that allows lawyers to lie and manipulate … We need this system to be pure, as pure as possible,” the prosecutor said Monday a few hours before the jurors received the case. “This case is all about dishonesty.”

In a prison recording, Fletcher told Knight in March 2015 that between $ 20,000 and $ 25,000 would be a fair investment to secure his release.

Fletcher also told a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department informant in May 2016 that witnesses in Knight’s case were to be paid for his testimony, and later told Knight that Cle “Bone” Sloan, who survived the to be hit by the truck, he needed to be hit by the truck. paid money for his testimony, according to the grand jury indictment filed in January 2018.

Knight, who was initially charged with murder by the death of Terry Carter on January 29, 2015, testified in October 2018 that he did not answer for manslaughter and admitted that he used a deadly weapon – a truck – while committing the crime in the parking lot. of Tam’s Burgers on the 1200 block of West Rosecrans Avenue.

Knight is serving a 28-year state prison sentence.

Knight’s sole business partner Mark Blankenship did not oppose a conspiracy offense in June 2019 resulting from the sale of video footage of the crime and was immediately sentenced to five years probation.

Knight’s fiancée Toi-Lin Kelly did not appear in 2017 for conspiracy to violate a court order that included video evidence that was sealed, and was later sentenced to three years in prison for violating her parole by having indirect communication. with Knight and help. violates orders restricting their use of prison phones.

Former Suge Knight attorney appears in Los Angeles court after judge issues bench warrant – Press Telegram Source link Former Suge Knight attorney appears in Los Angeles court after judge issues bench warrant – Press Telegram

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