Marion "Suge" Knight is being returned to prison for 10 months after a parole board on Thursday (July 31) found him guilty of violating his parole by punching a parking valet.
The rap mogul was arrested last month and has been held in custody since June 27 (see "Suge Knight Arrested After Allegedly Hitting Parking Valet"). His time served at the Los Angeles County Jail counts toward his 10-month sentence. Knight had faced up to a year in prison.
The closed parole board hearing lasted eight hours, during which the arresting officer, the victim and other witnesses testified, but not all of the testimony given was determined to be as pertinent as statements given the night of the June 21 incident.
Knight was accused of hitting valet Mehdi Lazrak on the back of the head from behind. Lazrak did not see his attacker (see "Parking Valet Says It Wasn't Suge Who Sucker-Punched Him"), but his boss, Abbey Shilleh, claimed that evening that he saw Knight do it. Shilleh retracted that statement in his testimony Thursday, but that did not exonerate the gangsta-rap CEO.
"He backpedaled a bit," California Board of Prison Terms spokesperson Bill Sessa acknowledged. "But we have a provision for weighing testimony from fearful witnesses. We gave more weight to what he said that night than what he said today."
A security camera videotape of the incident was provided by Knight's lawyer, Rose Kogeman, but the parole hearing officer determined that the images were too out of focus to be conclusive.
Knight originally received probation in 1992 for weapons and assault charges. He was found guilty of breaking that probation in 1996 after security cameras in a Las Vegas casino showed him committing an assault. Knight served nearly five years for the violation and was released on parole. He served another two months earlier this year after the state prison board determined he had associated with a known gang member in violation of his parole.
Calls to Knight's attorney and publicist were not immediately returned.