Rap mogul 'Suge' Knight collapses again, as bail set at $35 million

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight collapsed in court Friday and was hospitalised as a Los Angeles judge set bail at US$25 million (S$35 million) over his fatal hit-and-run case.

Knight's eye fluttered and he was sweating profusely before he fell to the ground, knocking his head on a table and falling unconscious, his lawyer said after the latest court hearing for the 49-year-old.

“He’s being treated worse than Charles Manson,” his attorney Matthew Fletcher told reporters, referring to Knight’s treatment including being held in solitary confinement Knight’s bail had previously been revoked as he was considered a flight risk.

Prosecutors had asked for it to be set at US$25 million because of Knight’s past extensive criminal record.

Knight’s lawyer argued that prosecutors had made “a mockery of” the case by requesting US$25 million bail, which he called an “absurd” figure.”

He suggested bail be set at US$2 million, saying his client is “probably one of the most recognisable people in Los Angeles” and does not pose a flight risk.

In response, prosecutor Cynthia Barnes said she was appalled” by Knight’s “extensive history of violence, both in this case and over the last 30 years.”

The judge said US$25 million bail was “reasonable, and it is so set,” noting that Knight could face multiple life prison terms if convicted.

Knight, who faces charges of murder and attempted murder, has complained of medical problems since he was arrested in January.

At his last court appearance, he said he had lost 15 kilos in weight, as well as the sight in one eye.

On Feb 3, Knight was taken to hospital after complaining of chest pains, shortly after appearing in court over the hit-and-run that left one man dead and another in the hospital the previous week.

He was taken to hospital again on Feb 19, shortly before he was due to appear in court for allegedly robbing a camera from a photographer. He was again hospitalised after his last court appearance on March 2.

Knight co-founded Death Row Records along with hip-hop music king Dr Dre in the early 1990s.

The label launched stars such as Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur but collapsed in 1996 when Knight was jailed for violating a probation order by beating up a rival in Las Vegas.

He again served a 10-month jail stint in 2003 after getting into a fight outside a Hollywood nightclub.

Last year, he was shot six times at a music awards party.