Rap mogul Marion 'Suge' Knight was given 10 months in prison yesterday (31JUL03), after a parole board found that he had struck a Hollywood nightclub valet.

Knight, who has been jailed since 27 June (03) awaiting sentence, faced a maximum charge of a year in prison for the parole violation. He has been credited for time spent behind bars, says BILL SESSA, a spokesman for the Board Of Prison Terms.

The parole board heard compelling testimony during a closed hearing from the arresting officer and a witness before making its decision, says Sessa.

MEHDI LAZRAK, 25, the alleged victim, said outside the hearing that Knight never struck him, explaining, "I never said I was hit by him. I don't know how police got that idea."

Lazrak says he was hit from behind on the back of the head. Authorities believe Lazrak didn't see who hit him, says Sessa.

ABBEY SHILLEH, owner of the CALIFORNIA PARKING SERVICES valet company, said outside the hearing that Knight "definitely was not involved with the incident".

However, Sessa says there was a discrepancy between the owner's account on the night of the incident and his statements at the hearing.

DEATH ROW boss Knight was placed on probation after being convicted in 1992 of pistol-whipping a man in a recording studio. In September 1996, Knight violated that probation and was imprisoned for five years after being caught on videotape, along with late rapper Tupac Shakur and others, beating a gang rival in the lobby of the MGM GRAND HOTEL in Las Vegas.

Shakur was shot and killed three hours later as he was riding in a BMW with Knight, who was wounded in the attack.

Knight was paroled from prison in 2001, but served 61 days behind bars earlier this year (03) for associating with a known gang member in violation of his parole.

01/08/2003 09:35