By Paul Russell
2/11/2003 6:01:41 PM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Suge Knight.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California state prison board on Tuesday postponed a hearing to decide whether to send rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight back to prison for a year for alleged parole violations.
The hearing to determine whether Knight violated conditions of his parole by associating with gang members was originally scheduled for Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles.
But Bill Sessa, a California Board of Prison Terms spokesman, said the hearing was postponed for several weeks in order to review a request by Knight's lawyer to attend.
Knight has been held in Los Angeles county jail since Dec. 23 for allegedly violating his parole by associating with gang members that police have linked to a string of shootings last year.
Knight was taken into custody a few weeks after sheriff's deputies raided his homes and businesses.
Knight's attorney David Chesnoff said he was not pleased that Knight would be detained longer, but was happy the board had decided to reconsider his request to represent him at the hearing.
Chesnoff, who is based in Las Vegas, said the parole board was unfairly applying a double standard to Knight, whose involvement with gang members has occurred in the course of running his music label, formerly Death Row Records and now called Tha Row.
The attorney said he and Knight consulted with a parole officer after Knight's release from prison in 2001 and were assured that hiring former gang members to his label did not pose a problem as long as Knight did not socialize with them after work.
"I met with the parole people and they told me they understood there would be circumstances, based on the kind of business that he was in, that he might come into contact with people with gang affiliations," Chesnoff said.
"Then, all of a sudden, they turn around. I think there was a minimum of misunderstanding and that all of this could have been corrected if they had taken the time to sit down to discuss this. This is a guy who is looking to run a business, not spend time in the country jail," Chesnoff said.
Authorities allege Knight violated his parole conditions by attending social events with known gang members and plan to introduce photographs of Knight and his employees making gang signs as evidence, Chesnoff said.
The lawyer said the photos were taken at a concert by a professional photographer hired by Knight.
Knight was jailed in October 1996 for violating his probation on a previous assault conviction by allegedly kicking a man during a scuffle in a Las Vegas hotel. The scuffle occurred hours before rapper Tupac Shakur was killed in September, 1996 in a drive-by shooting.
Knight was driving the car in which Shakur was shot and was himself wounded in the incident.
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