Hip-hop giant Suge Knight has been sentenced to 28 years in prison in a no contest case for voluntary manslaughter. The founder of the notorious music group Death Row Records in 2015 ran over a man at a Compton burger stand and plowed into another, killing him. Finally sentencing Knight to 28 years behind bars brings closure to a closely watched case.
As it happened on January 29, 2015, Knight was caught on surveillance cameras at Tam’s Burgers backing up his truck. He reversed the truck and ran over Cle “Bone” Sloan before surging forward again and ramming into Terry Carter. Knight, 55, did not wait following the incident; he drove off and fled the scene.
Suge Knight Had Two Pending Cases Dropped To Plead No Contest to Manslaughter
Carter, 55, died from fatal injuries sustained in the hit-and-run. He built custom lowriders and was a popular businessman in the Compton area. Sloan had been living in Compton most of his life, and was a consultant on N.W.A’s biopic “Straight Outta Compton.”
Knight appeared in court wearing a jail-issued orange jumpsuit. He wore white sneakers and had a cross hanging on his neck. He had been in remand since the hit-and-run incident. His detention had not been without medical complications. He is reported to be suffering from blood clots and in 2016, underwent an emergency appendix surgery.
He is a major figure in the hip-hop movement across the United States. Knight was instrumental to the phenomenal success of major hip-hop acts such as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur among others. At the height of his success, he was a notable figure in the skirmishes that raged between West Coast and East Coast hip-hop rappers. Knight was in the car with Tupac Shakur the night he was shot dead in Las Vegas in 1996.
Following his arrest over the death of Terry Carter, Knight first claimed self-defense before changing his plea. Before the hit-and-run case with Carter, Knight had two cases pending against him. One was a 2014 robbery charge and the other a charge for harassing the director of Straight Outta Compton. He threatened to kill the director for using a character that portrayed him without paying him for the characterization.
I Will Never Witness Terry Smiling At Me Again…All We Have Is Memories
The hip-hop mogul struck a deal with prosecutors to have the two earlier charges against him dropped in exchange for owing up to killing Carter and injuring another in a reckless manner. By pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter, Knight avoided a murder trial and a possible life sentence. He could be eligible for parole in 20 years if he is well-behaved in prison.
Lillian, Carter’s widow was not in court during the final hearing and sentencing. But Carter’s sister Jessica read out a letter Lillian had written to address the court. She lamented how internet search results bring up nothing about her husband’s business and community life other than visuals of Knight killing him. “He is my husband, my best friend, my provider,” she wrote.
Lillian Carter said she was always overtaken by grief any time she saw Knight waving and smiling to his fans during his many court appearances. “I will never witness Terry smiling at me again,” she wrote. “All interactions with Terry ended on Jan. 29, 2015. All we have is memories.”