Suge Knight, Death Row Records co-founder, pleads no contest to hit and run case, faces 28 years in prison
The Death Row Records founder made the plea to avoid charges of murdering one man and attempting to murder a second with his pick-up truck in Los Angeles
Death Row Records co-founder Marion “Suge” Knight faces 28 years in state prison after he pleaded no contest on Thursday to voluntary manslaughter.
The years-long case involving the 53-year-old rap mogul came to an end this week after he reached a plea agreement over his involvement in the 2015 hit-and-run case of 55-year-old Terry Carter. Knight, who has been in prison for more than three years, will get credit for time served and will be on parole for three years upon release, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office said.
The altercation occurred on January 29, 2015, outside a Compton restaurant following a dispute relating to the film 'Straight Outta Compton.'
Prosecutors said Knight used his Ford truck to run over two men. Carter was killed on the spot, while another man, actor Cle “Bone” Sloan, was injured.
Footage of the fatal collision was later obtained and published by TMZ. Knight, who was out on bail in a robbery case at the time, fled the scene, but later turned himself in and was arrested.
On Thursday, Knight received the high-term of 11 years in prison for the voluntary manslaughter, which doubled because he had a prior conviction under California’s three strikes law. He also received an additional five years because the conviction was for a “serious and violent felony,” the court ruled, and an year for using a deadly weapon, in reference to his truck.
By entering his plea, Knight also resolved two other pending criminal cases. The entrepreneur was indicted for making criminal threats in August 2014 and charged for allegedly stealing a camera from a woman in September 2014.
Those charges have now been dismissed.
Terry Carter's daughter, Crystal Carter, ran out of the courtroom as the plea deal was agreed. While acknowledging that it was a relief the ordeal was finally over after more than three years, she said to the press in LA: “It will never be a win to the family. Can’t bring my dad back.”
Knight is best-known for launching the record label 'Death Row Records,' which was home to several rap superstars, including Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg. But his gangsta image was not cultivated by studio executives. Over the years, he was accused of involvement with fights, shootings, probation violations and assault with a deadly weapon.