HOLLYWOOD—The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced on September 13 that two people have been charged with violating a court order by selling video evident that was under seal by the court with the connection of a murder trial of former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight.
A grand jury returned the indictment against Toilin Kelly, 36, and Mark Blankenship, 57, on July 28 for one felony count each of conspiracy to violate a court order, conspiracy to obstruct justice and conspiracy to commit grand theft. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Stefan Mrakich.
The indictment was unsealed after Kelly pleaded not guilty to the charges. She is scheduled to return to court on Tuesday, September 19 for a bail review hearing. An arraignment date will be set later for Blankenship.
Kelly, Knight’s girlfriend, and Blankenship, a business partner, spent over a month brokering a deal with TMZ, according to the indictment. Both defendants allegedly were aware the video was under a protective order, Mrakich noted.
Both Kelly and Blankenship are accused of arranging to sale the video of a fatal hit-and-run involving Knight, 2 weeks after the incident occurred on January 29, 2015. Knight, 52, is awaiting trial in the death of killing Terry Carter, 55, and injuring a second man he struck with his truck.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ricardo Ocampo granted the prosecution’s motion for a protective order that prohibited the release of any evidence in the murder case, including the video, to prevent it from being released to the public.
Kelly allegedly reached a deal worth $55,000 and TMZ posted the video on its website several days later.
If convicted, both Kelly and Blankenship each face up to 3 years in state prison that could be served in local custody. The case is still under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.