Former Knight Oil Employee Russell Manual Booked in LPCC

The final player in this internal battle for power within the Knight Oil Tools empire is Russell Manual who has turned himself over to authorities.

News 10 spoke with his attorney Pat MaGee who says, “Mr. Manual has been very cooperative throughout this entire ordeal him and he is looking forward to getting released in getting back to this family.”

Russell Manual is accused of accepting money from former Knight Oil Tools CEO Mark Knight to plant drugs on the car of Knight’s brother, Bryan Knight.

MaGee says, “We believe that the truth will be told.”

Authorities say Mark Knight paid Manual and two law enforcement officers more than 100,000 dollars in cash and gifts in a ruse to set up Bryan Knight. The charges against Bryan were ultimately dropped. MaGee says his client Russell Manual was a property manager with Knight Oil Tools. He would not confirm or deny manual’s employment status, but he did have this to say when we asked about Manual’s future as it relates to the case.

MaGee says, “We are at the very beginning of the process. We don’t have the evidence that the state of Louisiana intends to introduce and so, being at the beginning of the process we just need to figure out exactly what direction the state is going into. Once we do that will be able to get a firm assessment of how we are going to proceed at that time.”

Manual did go through the booking process at LPCC on Friday morning. He is being charged with criminal conspiracy, possession of cocaine, lortab, methadone, extortion and intimidating a witness. He is a free man this evening after posting a $100,000 bond.

Community Reacts to Knight Oil Scandal

The community continues to react to the Knight Oil Tools scandal. One Lafayette resident commented, “What’s going on with the police force? That’s my initial thing. Bribery is an awful thing in and of itself, but to plant something on someone and arrest them for it, that’s just not what our country is about.”

Another Lafayette resident said, “The entire point of the police department it to protect and serve and if we don’t even have that,” the young woman broke off her sentence and shook her head.

The responses come after news broke of an alleged scheme by Mark Knight. The former Knight Oil CEO is accused of putting a plan in place to frame his brother Bryan; a plan that consisted of an employee allegedly planting drugs in his brother’s vehicle then having two veteran law enforcement agents arrest Bryan.

“It’s really horrible. I can’t understand how family members can do that to one another,” said another Lafayette woman.

According to the company website, Knight Specialties originated in Morgan City out of founder Eddy Knight’s trunk. In 1984, Knight Oil began providing services such as rentals, fishing, well services and safety training to oil and gas industries worldwide.

Oil field leaders in Lafayette described Knight Oil as a close knit company. Several of them refused to comment on the story, not wanting to pour gas on an already blazing fire. The community continues to talk about the story, which seems to leap off the pages of a Hollywood script.

“It kind of reminds me of something you would see on TV. It doesn’t seem like Lafayette, it doesn’t seem like Louisiana at all,” said another.

However, this is a real-life story of two law enforcement agents and an employee, allegedly bribed by a brother for reasons still unknown. A spokesman for Knight Oil Tools says they will not be issuing a public statement but will be communicating with their employees. In the meantime, the company will resume its day to day operations as it has for the past 43 years.

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