Marion “Suge” Knight, the godfather of gangsta’ rap, has cut a deal on a murder rap. He pleaded “no contest” to manslaughter in the hit-and-run death of Terry Carter in Compton three years ago. Here’s what really happened that day. (Warning graphic video.)
Knight, 53, may have cut a deal, but he’s far from getting a slap on the wrist.
He’s agreed to a 28-year sentence as part of the plea deal, which acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence to convict him, but stops short of a full-on guilty plea. Six years of that sentence were added because he’s considered a career criminal under California’s three-strike rule.
He’ll appear for a formal sentencing hearing on Oct. 4, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Knight was facing life in prison without parole, if convicted on all charges, which included murder, attempted murder and hit-and-run.
The troubled hip-hop impresario and founder of Death Row Records was captured on a security video running over two men in his truck, which led to murder charges. The video provides a clear view of what went down, although it was initially interpreted differently.
At the time of the incident, Knight’s defense attorney claimed the video exonerated the mogul, claiming he only fled the scene because he was in fear for his life.
But prosecutors charged that the video showed Knight willfully running over the men in a wanton act of murder, according to TMZ.
The incident unfolded in Compton on Jan. 29, 2015, following a promotional video shoot for upcoming biopic about the pioneering rap group NWA. Knight had been told to leave the shoot where ex-partner and now antagonist Dr. Dre was filming footage for the movie, “Straight Outta Compton.”
After the shoot, the crew members got together at Tam’s Burgers a local Compton gathering spot.
The video shows Suge pulling up in his red pickup truck. Although some of the truck is outside the security camera’s view the front portion of the truck is visible.
He stops the truck before entering the lot and is confronted by Cle “Bone” Sloan, who had been hired to provide security for the film shoot. He immediately approaches Suge’s open window and the two appear to struggle.
Knight suddenly reverses the truck and sideswipes Sloan, knocking him to the ground, violently. Instead of turning left and heading down the road, Knight guns it, hits Sloan again and mows down Terry Carter, who was initially identified as Knight’s friend.
The truck’s front and back wheels drive over Carter, who is dragged under the truck as Knight speeds off.
Of significance, the video also shows another individual approach Sloan’s motionless body and take what looks like a gun from his waistband.
Suge’s lawyer asserts that Bone and Terry both had guns. Knight claims several people in the crowd were armed and threatening to shoot him, according to TMZ.
He pleaded not guilty, claiming thata he acted in self-defense.
Sloan survived, but Carter later died from his injuries.
Knight was reportedly upset that he was not being paid for the use of his likeness in the picture.
Knight went through a series of lawyers since his arrest, according to The Los Angeles Times, before appearing in court to enter his plea. He was scheduled to go to trial Sept. 24.
Check out the security video below, let us know your thoughts and be sure to follow IM on Twitter. Warning: the content is graphic!