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Hip-hop mogul Suge Knight and comedian Katt Williams were arrested this week in connection with an alleged theft of a photographer's camera in Beverly Hills earlier this year.
Knight was arrested in Las Vegas and Williams was arrested while appearing in a California court for a prior assault charge, reports the Los Angeles Times. Both were charged with a single count of second degree robbery, a felony.
What are the pair accused of doing, and why could Knight be facing substantially harsher penalties than Williams if the pair are convicted?
The arrests stem from a September 5 incident in Beverly Hills, where Williams and Knight reportedly chased a woman down an alley and took her camera "forcibly," according to police. Since the incident, Beverly Hills Police say they've spent weeks building the case against Knight and Williams, leading up to Wednesday's coordinated arrests in two different states.
The woman involved in the incident is a well-known member of the paparazzi, according to TMZ. She was allegedly filming Knight's 4-year-old son in an alley when she was involved in a dispute with a woman who was with Williams. Police said they were still trying to locate a man and a woman who may have been with Williams and Knight at the time of the incident.
The crime of robbery occurs when a person uses force or intimidation to take personal property from another person's immediate presence. Under California law, any robbery that does not take place in a home or inhabited dwelling or meet one of the other criteria for first degree robbery is considered second degree robbery. Second degree robbery is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison if convicted.
Because of prior criminal run-ins however, Knight may be facing a prison sentence of 30 years to life if convicted on the robbery charge. Williams, who also has previous convictions in addition to the felony assault charges he was being arraigned on when arrested in this case, may face up to seven years in prison if convicted.
According to The Associated Press, Knight was in court on Thursday for a Nevada traffic warrant and will remain in custody in Las Vegas over the weekend pending an extradition hearing in the California robbery case on Monday.
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