Another Las Vegas-based TV pilot is in the works. Loosely based on the Las Vegas law firm Cristalli & Saggese, the series plans to feature Jim Belushi cast as a character based on Michael V. Cristalli and Jerry O’Connell as one based on Marc A. Saggese. Both are on board, Cristalli said. The characters’ names will not be the same as the lawyers.’
It’s the culmination of a four-year project that began with a relationship between Cristalli and Saggese and brothers Joe and Harry Gantz, the producers and developers of the HBO documentary series “Taxicab Confessions.”
“We shot a docu-drama several years ago about the law office” says Cristalli, and it was sold to CBS as a drama.
The TV pilot’s director, Davis Guggenheim, directed Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and the writing team of Niels Mueller and Kevin Kennedy collaborated on “The Assassination of Richard Nixon,” which starred Sean Penn.
Cristalli and Saggese represented Sandy Murphy in her October 2004 retrial in the Ted Binion murder case that ended in an acquittal of murder, but she was convicted of lesser charges of burglary and grand larceny.
Rap producer Marion “Suge” Knight has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery on February 17 for beating a woman in a Las Vegas parking lot last year.
Knight entered the plea in Las Vegas Justice Court in a deal that dismissed two felony drug charges and one felony coercion charge. The plea deal came a day after Knight was treated in an Arizona hospital for facial injuries suffered during a fight following the NBA All-Star Game. Knight was not charged in the incident.
Las Vegas police arrested Knight in August. Officers said they saw the 43-year-old co-founder of Death Row Records striking Melissa Isaac while holding a knife in a parking lot near the Las Vegas Strip.
Isaac, who identified herself to police as Knight’s girlfriend, was not stabbed, and was treated and released for her injuries. Knight was found to be carrying Ecstasy and hydrocodone, police said. Knight was facing mandatory probation and up to four years in a Nevada state prison on each of the drug charges.
Knight’s attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, have said they had evidence that would have defended Knight against the charges.
Justice of the Peace Eric Goodman ordered Knight to receive counseling and pay a $340 fine. He was ordered to report back to court in August for a status check.