L O S A N G E L E S, Aug. 7, 2001 -- Rap music mogul Marion "Suge" Knight, whoco-founded Death Row Records, was released from a federal prison inOregon after serving nearly five years behind bars.
The 36-year-old was released Monday morning and boarded a planefor Los Angeles.
He served more than half of a nine-year term forviolating probation on assault charges from a fight at a Las Vegashotel in September 1996. Hours after the fight, rap star TupacShakur was killed in a drive-by shooting as he rode in Knight'scar.
Knight told the Los Angeles Times he's relieved to be out ofprison and looks forward to returning to work at Death Row Records.
"I'm stress-free," Knight told the newspaper. "I want to tryto do better things. Watch me. I'm going to the studio tonight."
After arriving in Los Angeles, Knight returned to his company'sheadquarters near Beverly Hills. A huge billboard above the label'soffice greeted him with the words "Welcome Home Suge."
Despite losing some of the biggest stars on his label, includingDr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, Knight has signed a new group of unknownacts.
"Better days is coming, man," Knight said. "It's like we'regetting ready for the Super Bowl. We going to start having some funagain."
Knight's Ongoing Legal Problems
Knight was paroled on April 20 from Mule Creek State Prison inIone, Calif., and then transferred to a federal prison in Sheridan,Ore., to finish the remaining months of his sentence.
He was on probation for state and federal charges when he wassentenced to nine years in prison for violating his probation bytaking part in the Las Vegas fight.
Knight had been placed on state probation since 1995, when heentered no-contest pleas to two counts of assault after a 1992attack on two rappers at a Hollywood recording studio.
He also pleaded guilty in 1995 to federal charges of attemptingto commit a drug-related offense and conspiracy. He was sentencedto a month in jail and three years supervised release.