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A former Death Row employee claimed he could provide police with evidence that B. For the first time in a long while, people seemed to view Knight as vulnerable. G.'s murder, Knight had been getting away with outrageously violent behavior for years.
Watching him get locked up seemed to turn the tide. At the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Knight had combined his status as an all-conference defensive end for the football team with a reputation as the biggest drug dealer on campus, while repeatedly using his athletic connections to avoid prison time.
Only a handful in the courtroom knew of the remarkable events of the previous days: an anonymous late-night phone tip; the extraordinary lockdown of a Los Angeles Police Department division; a stash of secret, incriminating documents. Times Responds to Biggie Story The implications of the judge's decision extended far beyond the mystery of B. The judge's declaration of a mistrial provided one of those breathtaking moments when the facade of a Big Lie is peeled back to reveal the men behind the curtain. Christopher Wallace, asked Sanders to read the article. Killed in Los Angeles Angular and fit, the fifty-one-year old Sanders is a mercurial Louisianan whose shaved head and pale eyes give him the look of a more intelligent Bruce Willis. Sanders Sr., one of the South's best-known Baptist ministers, the attorney had devoted much of his young adulthood to the music business; he performed as a guitarist and vocalist all across the Southern club circuit during his years in college and law school. Combs, in the lead, blew through the amber light at Wilshire as the signal turned red and Biggie's vehicle stopped on the south side of the intersection. As the Impala sped away, heading east on Wilshire, the Land Cruiser made another U-turn and drove off. Combs jumped out of the vehicle and ran across Wilshire to the green Suburban. hunched over the dashboard with his tongue hanging out of his mouth, bleeding through his jacket. The terrified Combs jumped into the Suburban behind B. G., while Story pushed G-Money aside and drove the vehicle to the emergency dock of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, less than five minutes away. Despite multiple descriptions of the killer as "a Muslim," however, the people downtown wanted to focus attention on rumors that B. "To me it was obvious this wasn't a gang shooting," says Detective Russell Poole, who, with partner Fred Miller, would become a lead investigator on the case when it was finally assigned to Robbery-Homicide in April 1997.
But the following day, Judge Cooper issued a written ruling stating that she had come to believe the LAPD had deliberately concealed a massive amount of evidence that attested to the involvement of rogue officers in the rapper's slaying. Suddenly, the central figures in this scandal were not the collection of corrupt police officers whose double-faced criminality has been the focus of both public and private investigations, but rather the people who hold the levers of control at the city's most powerful in 2000, it looked as if all the skeletons rattling around the scandal had been locked away in deep closets. "I thought there were grounds for filing a lawsuit just based on reading the story," says Sanders. By the time he passed the bar in 1982, Sanders co-owned the Baton Rouge recording studio Disk Productions, where he and two partners composed and recorded jingles for companies including Hilton and Honda. A white Toyota Land Cruiser promptly made a U-turn and tried to cut between Biggie and a trailing Chevy Blazer driven by Bad Boy's director of security. in the eye for a moment, then reached across his body with a blue-steel automatic pistol held in his right hand, braced it against his left forearm and emptied the gun into the front passenger seat of the Sub-urban. The Suburban in which Combs rode slowed nearly to a stop when Story heard the gunshots. When he opened the passenger-side door, Combs saw B. "Biggie's murder was much more sophisticated than anything I've ever seen any gangbanger pull off. G.'s killing, on the other side of the hills, in North Hollywood.
On Halloween night 1987, Knight was arrested after shooting a man twice and stealing his Nissan Maxima, yet managed to have the felony charges against him reduced to misdemeanors.
Despite his reputation as a brilliant attorney, Sanders' Southern accent and good-time grin initially made it difficult for a lot of people in L. "Biggie's murder was much more sophisticated than anything any gangbanger pulls off."He and Frank would soon recognize, however, that the strange facts of Biggie's murder and the convoluted web of events and people surrounding it would become their greatest LAPD officials tried to explain how the murder of Notorious B. Dozens of people had been on the street at forty-five minutes past midnight on March 9th, 1997, when B. The killer, it seemed, had exploited a recent complacency among those in B. Perhaps even the blue-jacketed Crips who had backed Puffy Combs and B. Poole's orders to steer clear of anything having to do with Death Row Records, however, were becoming difficult to obey.An inmate at California's Corcoran State Prison said that his cellmate, Marcus Nunn — a Mob Piru Blood from Knight's home turf in Compton — had confided that Knight, from behind bars, had hired another Mob Piru to take Biggie out.Nunn also said he knew the name of the person who had killed Shakur — also on Knight's orders. had been murdered by members of Knight's "goon squad."Detectives were amazed that witnesses came forward, given the level of fear Knight inspired in virtually everyone who dealt with him.But in the spring of 2001, theories that had been discarded by both the police and the L. media were explored by articles in Perry Sanders, the iconoclastic lawyer who would spearhead the wrongful-death lawsuit, first became involved in the case in June of that year. Because he takes cases only on contingency, however, the attorney had to decide whether he could justify spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and several years of his life to sustain a federal court claim against the city of Los Angeles. Within a few years, Sanders moved on to Nashville, working in entertainment law by day and as a writer and producer at night, then to L. lawsuit would demand, Sanders dispatched Frank to meet with the murdered rapper's mother, Voletta Wallace, in New York. rapper James "Lil' Caesar" Lloyd, who had grown up with B. At that moment, a black Impala SS pulled up on the Suburban's right side. Everyone inside ducked, then someone shouted that B. This was professionally executed."The clues collected by investigators assigned to B. G.'s murder pointed in the same direction as the word on the street did — The detective had come to the Smalls case directly from a shooting investigation that was no less controversial. Two men — one white, the other black — had become embroiled in what appeared to be an out-of-control traffic dispute.A., where he was a partner in the studio West Side Sound. "After meeting with Voletta," Frank recalls, "I reported back to Perry that we may or may not have a great case, but we certainly had a great client."Tall and bespectacled, Wallace still speaks in the lilting accent she brought with her when she moved to New York from Trelawny, Jamaica, as a young girl in 1959. The driver, alone in the sedan, was a black male whose blue suit, bow tie and fade haircut suggested Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam sect. Only after the black man was dead did the California Highway Patrol officers who were first to arrive on the scene discover that the shooter was undercover LAPD detective Frank Lyga, and that the dead man was off-duty LAPD officer Kevin Gaines.