Several new defendants including record executive Marion "Suge" Knight may be allowed into the wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the family of murdered rapper Notorious B.I.G., a federal judge tentati

Several new defendants including record executive Marion "Suge" Knight may be allowed into the wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the family of murdered rapper Notorious B.I.G., a federal judge tentatively ruled.

U.S. District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ruled Friday the lawsuit could be amended because of newly discovered evidence. An earlier lawsuit ended in a mistrial in 2005.

Aside from Knight, the new defendants could include former police officer Rafael Perez and other current and former members of the Los Angeles Police Department.

B.I.G., whose given name was Christopher Wallace, was 24 when he was gunned down March 9, 1997, while leaving a music industry party at Los Angeles' Petersen Automotive Museum. The New York rapper was one of the country's most popular hip-hop artists, and theories have proliferated for years about who might have been behind his murder.

His family filed a wrongful death suit seeking damages from the city. It accuses the Los Angeles Police Department, and specifically Perez' former patrol partner, David Mack, of responsibility for Wallace's death. New evidence shows Perez was on duty the night of B.I.G.'s slaying and may have been at the scene, Cooper wrote.

Mack and Perez have both long denied any involvement in the killing.

Calls to Knight attorneys Laurence Strick and Daniel J. McCarthy were not immediately returned Monday.


AP LogoCopyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print