LOS ANGELES (CN) – At the sentencing of rap producer Marion “Suge” Knight on Thursday, family of the man Knight ran over in a Compton parking lot in 2015 said they were forced to watch the man’s death multiple times as surveillance footage leaked by TMZ played out in the media.
Knight, 53, was sentenced to 28 years in prison in a Los Angeles County courtroom as part of an agreement in which he pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter less than a week before trial was set to begin. He faced life in prison if he’d been convicted.
In January 2015, Knight – co-founder of rap label Death Row Records – ran over Terry Carter and Cle “Bone” Sloan with his truck in a Compton parking lot, killing Carter and injuring Sloan. Knight’s ex-attorneys argued in the media that Knight feared for his life and one of the victims had a gun.
On Thursday, Carter’s family sobbed openly and read impact statements about Knight who wore an orange jumpsuit in the courtroom.
They described Carter as the “chief executive officer” of the family who they say was killed in cold blood at the age of 55, an episode they said has forever changed the family.
Carter’s daughter Crystal said Knight tried to defame her father’s character by claiming that Knight was in danger and feared for his life.
“He is not the victim. My mother, sister, me and an entire community are the victims,” she said of Knight. “He is a truly selfless disgrace to human decency.”
Carter’s widow Lillian wore a t-shirt with a picture of her husband and was joined by her extended family who shared the impact of their patriarch’s death.
“This is a nightmare I cannot wake up from,” Lillian Carter said in a letter read to the court by Terry Carter’s sister.
She said when people Google her husband’s name they do not see their wedding photos or pictures of him being present in his family’s lives.
“What you do see is the defendant killing my husband,” she said.
Carter’s family says they’ve attended 94 hearings in the case. When asked by the press if they thought 28 years was an adequate sentence for Knight, Carter’s family said “No” in unison. One of Carter’s relatives said, “He should have gotten life.”
Knight looked forward throughout the hearing as he sat through about 40 minutes of statements from Carter’s family, next to Albert DeBlanc Jr. his 16th attorney in the case.
Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen said in his 45 years in the criminal justice system he’s seen more violent death than he can remember.
“But also in hearing the family and friends, I realized that I’m a husband, a father, and a grandfather and I have feelings like you,” said Coen. “And if it hasn’t been said to you by anyone else, let me tell you that my heart goes out to you.”
Jury selection in the murder trial was set to begin when Knight agreed to the terms of the plea agreement. He also faced charges of robbery and making criminal threats against the director of the biopic “Straight Outta Compton” in a separate case, but those charges were dropped as part of the deal.