Suge Knight settles on 28-year sentence

AUTODIDACT 17 | 10/4/2018, 10:48 a.m.
Last Thursday, Sept. 20, attorneys for former record executive Marion “Suge” Knight, 53, agreed to a plea deal that will ...
Suge Knight File

Last Thursday, Sept. 20, attorneys for former record executive Marion “Suge” Knight, 53, agreed to a plea deal that will sentence him to 28 years in prison when they return to court Oct. 4. He has remained incarcerated since the 2015 hit and run on the set of hip-hop super group NWA’s biopic, “Straight Outta Compton.”

In Los Angeles Superior Court, the attorneys pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter just days before jury selection was scheduled to start. Knight was initially charged with murder, attempted murder and hit and run that resulted in the death of Compton businessman, Terry Carter, 55, and serious wounding of Cle Loan, a security consultant, after he ran them both over with his Ford F-150 Raptor pickup truck at a nearby burger stand after a dispute.

Knight’s attorneys claimed he was fleeing the scene and that he acted in self-defense.

During the announcement of the plea deal, the Los Angeles County D.A.’s Office said he would be sentenced to 11 years for the manslaughter charge, but because he is a repeat offender, under California’s three-strikes law, the sentence will automatically be doubled. Plus, because of the fact that his crime consisted of a “serious and violent” nature, another six years were added to his sentence.

The plea deal also involved two previous criminal cases from 2014 that include counts of “making criminal threats” and “stealing a camera.”

The case finally concluded after a long delay that included charges of witness tampering and the incarceration of Knight’s girlfriend for probation violation because of accusations that she was selling surveillance footage of the hit-and-run to media outlets.

Knight has a long history of violent offenses, including threatening “Straight Outta Compton” movie director F. Gary Gray because he didn’t like the way his character was depicted in the movie.

He was also extensively investigated after the murders of hip-hop super stars Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. He was imprisoned for nearly five years for violating his probation after video surveillance captured him beating up another man just hours before Shakur was mortally wounded while sitting in the passenger seat of his BMW.

Knight has prior convictions for armed robbery and assault.

He rose to fame during the 1990s after founding Death Row Records and launching the solo careers of NWA producers Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. He also signed Tupac after posting his bail in 1994.