Former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight and comedian Micah “Katt” Williams were ordered Tuesday to stand trial on a robbery charge for allegedly taking a camera from a female photographer in Beverly Hills about a year ago.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen found there was sufficient evidence to try Knight, 50, and Williams, 44, on one felony robbery count.
Knight also was ordered to stand trial on a felony count of criminal threats involving the photographer, Leslie Redden.
Redden testified that she was waiting outside a business in Beverly Hills with another photographer the afternoon of Sept. 5, 2014, when Knight came toward her, apparently upset over photographs he believed were being taken of his son.
“I just remember Mr. Knight coming in my face … He was very angry and belligerent and calling me a bitch,” Redden told the judge. “I said ‘I’m not a bitch. I’m not shooting your son.”‘
She said Knight threatened that there was a woman who could “beat your ass,” and that she thought “it was getting very dangerous.”
When Deputy District Attorney Keri Modder asked her if she felt threatened, the photographer responded, “Oh, yeah, I did … I couldn’t believe it was getting to that point.”
Redden said she ran from the scene and was confronted by Williams and a woman who tried to grab the small video camera hanging from her neck.
Surveillance video showed another man walking with what appeared to be the larger of her two cameras moments later, she said of the footage shown in court.
She said she had been outside the business to try to photograph Williams and didn’t know it was Knight’s son she was videotaping at her chest level after turning the video camera on for what she called “safety reasons … like a police dash cam.”
“I wasn’t aiming at Suge Knight’s son … I had no idea that it was Suge Knight’s son,” she said, noting that she could have photographed the boy earlier when he was running outside with Williams and didn’t know it was Knight’s son until after the confrontation began.
She said she later posted the videotape on her You Tube channel as “safety,” but her page was subsequently destroyed.
“Suge Knight never touched you on this particular day?” defense attorney Tom Mesereau asked the woman.
“Not that I know of,” she said.
She said she hasn’t gotten her camera back and doesn’t know if police have her camera, which she said had no photos of Knight or Williams.
Beverly Hills police Detective Mark Schwartz testified that Knight was heard in the video footage telling someone to get the woman’s camera.
Knight’s attorney told the judge that there is “no evidence” that Knight took anything from anybody, ran after the woman or touched her camera.
“All he wanted was (for) his son not to be photographed,” Mesereau told the judge. “Calling someone a bitch is not a felony.”
Williams’ attorney, Shawn Holley, described her client’s involvement as “very fleeting.”
“It’s clear that he had no intention to keep the camera,” she said. “It was clearly (over) images on the camera.”
The prosecutor countered that the camera was taken “with no intent to return” it.
Outside court, Knight’s attorney said, “We’re disappointed that he was held to answer on these charges .. We have no doubt that he’ll be vindicated at trial.”
Knight and Williams are due back in court for arraignment Oct. 27. Knight is also scheduled to appear in court Dec. 11 for a pretrial hearing on an unrelated murder case in which he is charged with one felony count each of murder, attempted murder and hit-and-run for allegedly running down two men in Compton on Jan. 29, killing one and injuring the other.
Knight — while free on bail in the robbery case — allegedly drove his pickup truck backward and forward, killing Terry Carter, 55, and injuring 51- year-old Cle Stone, about 2:55 p.m. Jan. 29 in the parking lot of Tam’s Burgers in the 1200 block of West Rosecrans Avenue near Central Avenue.
Mesereau called that case one of “self-defense,” telling Coen at a hearing in July that his client was alone and unarmed and fled “when his life was threatened.”
Knight remains jailed in lieu of $10 million bail.
—Staff and wire reports