A retired detective was told by a cell mate of hip-hop mogul MARION 'SUGE' KNIGHT the Death Row Records founder had confessed to the murder of rapper NOTORIOUS BIG.

Former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective FRED MILLER yesterday (23JUN05) testified in a Los Angeles court he spent two years investigating the fatal shooting of Notorious - real name CHRISTOPHER WALLACE - outside a post-SOUL TRAIN MUSIC AWARDS party in the city on 9 March 1997.

Wallace's family are suing the Los Angeles Police Department and the city for wrongful death, and identify an ex-LAPD officer named David A Mack as an alleged mastermind of the shooting.

Miller said, "I felt we possibly at one time had enough," after referring to alleged evidence of finding gunshot residue inside Knight's vehicle and a flurry of calls placed among Death Row associates in the two hours leading up to the murder.

Under questioning from the Wallace family's attorney ROBERT FRANK, Miller recalled interviewing MARIO HA'MMOND - who shared a cell with Knight at a San Luis Obispo jail.

He said, "I was rather shocked at what he told me. He told me he had spoken with an individual named Suge Knight and that Knight told him that he had had Biggie Smalls murdered."

Knight had repeatedly denied being involved in the murder of Notorious - a rival of Death Row Records artist TUPAC SHAKUR - and has never been arrested in relation to the case.

The trial continues.

24/06/2005 14:01