Ex-lawyers for rap’s ‘Suge’ Knight accused of witness bribery

Marion "Suge" Knight attends a hearing with attorney Thomas Mesereau, right, in his murder case in Los Angeles, California. (Reuters)
Updated 06 March 2018
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Ex-lawyers for rap’s ‘Suge’ Knight accused of witness bribery

LOS ANGELES: Two former lawyers for rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight were indicted on charges of conspiracy to bribe potential witnesses in his upcoming murder trial, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said on Monday.
Matthew Fletcher and Thaddeus Culpepper were accused of trying to pay off people to provide favorable testimony at Knight’s trial for murder charges stemming from a fatal Los Angeles hit-and-run, prosecutors said in a statement.
Culpepper said the charges in a Jan. 24 grand jury indictment were “pure retaliation” by prosecutors.
“We’ve come very close to being able to prove criminal procedural fraud on their part,” Culpepper said.
Knight, co-founder of influential hip-hop label Death Row Records, is awaiting trial on charges he ran down two men with his Ford F-150 pick-up truck outside Tam’s Burgers in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton on Jan. 29, 2015.
Fletcher allegedly told Knight it would take about $20,000 to $25,000 in bribes to potential witnesses to secure his freedom, the prosecutors said.
In 2016, an informant allegedly told Culpepper he would be willing to testify he saw weapons at the murder scene, even though the informant was not there when the crime occurred, the indictment said. Culpepper and Knight allegedly agreed to use the informant as a defense witness at trial.
If convicted, Fletcher and Culpepper face a possible maximum sentence of three years and eight months in jail, according to the district attorney’s office.


French priest suspended after slapping baby during baptism

Video shows priest slapping crying baby.
Updated 23 June 2018
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French priest suspended after slapping baby during baptism

  • The baby’s parents, visibly shocked, eventually manage to extricate the child from the priest’s grip
  • The child was bawling and I needed to turn his head so I could pour the water

PARIS: A French Catholic priest was suspended Friday after a video of him smacking a crying baby during a baptism ceremony went viral, drawing widespread condemnation on social media.
In footage posted on Twitter on Thursday, gasps can be heard when the 89-year-old priest, after ordering the infant he is holding to “be quiet,” sharply slaps his cheek.
A few seconds later he smacks him again.
The baby’s parents, visibly shocked, eventually manage to extricate the child from the priest’s grip during the ceremony in Champeaux, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Paris.
“This loss of self-control can be attributed to the fatigue of an elderly priest, but that doesn’t excuse it,” the diocese of Meaux, which includes the town, said in a statement.
It said the priest would no longer be leading baptisms and weddings nor holding mass until further notice.
“The child was bawling and I needed to turn his head so I could pour the water. I was saying ‘be quiet’ but he wouldn’t calm down,” the priest told France Info radio on Friday.
“It was something between a caress and a little slap,” he said. “I was trying to calm him down, I didn’t really know what to do.”