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Former Knight Oil Tools CEO sentenced to one year in jail

Posted at 6:08 PM, Feb 06, 2019

Mark Knight, right, walks into court with his attorneys Mike Skinner and John McLindon.

Mark Knight will spend one year in jail for trying to get control of his family’s oilfield company by framing his brother on drug charges.

Knight, who is the former head of Knight Oil Tools, pleaded no contest last year to corrupt influencing and public bribery. In exchange, the District Attorney’s office dropped racketeering charges and agreed not to prosecute Knight on other alleged crimes.

Today, he was sentenced to four years in prison on the bribery charge by Judge David Smith. All of that was suspended, and he was ordered to complete three years of probation, pay a $1,000 fine and forfeit $87,000.

On the corrupt influencing charge, he was ordered to serve one year in the parish prison, which will run concurrent with his other sentence. He must report to the jail to begin his sentence by next Friday at noon.

According to court documents, $87,000 is the total amount of money he paid to three other men, two of them law-enforcement officers, in the plot to frame his brother with drugs.

According to the factual basis of the plea as read in court, Knight stands convicted of orchestrating and paying for a scheme to plant tracking devices and drugs on his brother’s vehicle, then conspiring with law enforcement to have his brother arrested with the narcotics.

Russell Manuel, a former Knight Oil Tools employee; Corey Jackson, a former Louisiana State Police trooper; and Jason Kinch, a former deputy with the Lafayette Parish Metro Narcotics Task Force all pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme.

Jason Kinch. Photo: LPSO.

Kinch was also in court today before Judge David Smith to receive his sentencing for charges of public bribery and corrupt influencing shortly after Knight. Kinch was sentenced to three years hard labor that were suspended, two years of probation 150 hours of community service and a $500 fine for his public bribery conviction.

Kinch also received one year in Lafayette Parish jail, however the judge agreed to let Kinch serve that on home incarceration.

Jackson was scheduled to appear today for his sentence, but court records show that his sentencing date was reset for April 3 due to his counsel and the District Attorney’s office agreeing that “the ends of justice may be better served by sentencing Corey Jackson on a date after Mark Knight and Jason Kinch are sentenced.”

Read more on that here.