June 13, 2019 

By City News Service 


A onetime business partner of former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight pleaded no contest today to a felony conspiracy charge stemming from the sale of video footage of a fatal crash in Compton that put Knight in prison.


Mark Blankenship, 58, was immediately sentenced to five years probation following his plea to one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.


Knight pleaded no contest last Sept. 20 to voluntary manslaughter for running down 55-year-old Terry Carter in the parking lot of Tam's Burgers in the 1200 block of West Rosecrans Avenue on Jan. 29, 2015. Knight was sentenced last October to 28 years in state prison.


A grand jury indictment unsealed in September 2017 charged Blankenship and Knight's fiancee, Toi-Lin Kelly, who pleaded no contest later that year to conspiracy to violate a court order. She was subsequently sentenced to three years in jail for violating her probation by having indirect communication with Knight and helping him violate orders restricting his use of jailhouse phones.


Prosecutors contended that Blankenship and Kelly were aware that the video footage was subject to a protective order that had been issued by a judge that barred the release of any evidence in the case.


Kelly reached a deal worth $55,000, and the video was posted on TMZ days later, according to the District Attorney's Office.


Along with the probationary sentence, Blankenship was ordered – along with Kelly – to pay $55,000 in restitution to Tam’s Burgers, according to the District Attorney’s Office. 

Category: News