Suge Knight has testified in the $10 million wrongful death lawsuit brought against him by the family of Terry Carter who he killed during an incident in 2015. Knight, legal name Marion Knight, told his side of the story to jurors through a live stream on Wednesday (June 8), Rolling Stone reports. The 57-year-old shared with the jury that the deadly event occurred when he was allegedly ambushed while attempting to meet with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube at the Straight Outta Compton film production site.
According to Knight, he had already left the location due to the unavailability of Dre and Cube and was called by Carter who urged him to return. According to his account, Carter informed him to drive to the home of Dwayne “Knob” Johnson, across the street from Tam’s, a local restaurant.
“He said, ‘They’re trying to take care of you, get some things squared away. Dre’s gonna come by Knob’s house. Come meet me over there.’ He said, ‘Man they’re trying to give you some bread,” Knight reportedly testified.
He then claimed to drive to the location only to be cornered by armed men. Knight shared that Cle “Bone” Sloan, an alleged gang member and security guard for the film whom he had gotten into an altercation with earlier in the day, jumped over a wall, flashed a gun, and attacked him through an open window. During the incident, Knight claimed to be fearful for his life and struck Sloan and Carter, killing Carter and injuring Sloan.
Lance Behringer, legal representation for Carter’s widow Lillian, and his two daughters, Nekaya and Crystal, questioned Knight on the truthfulness of his testimony, referring to previously made statements during Knight’s sentencing hearing and prior interactions with law enforcement.
“Isn’t it correct that instead of leaving on 142nd (Street), after you had reversed out of the Tam’s parking lot, being in fear for your life, you decided to turn back into the Tam’s parking lot?” Behringer asked, continuing to mention details of Knight’s first interview after turning himself in saying, “Nowhere in that interview with Sgt. Biddle do you ever mention Bone Sloan pointing a gun at you.”
Knight responded, “Where I come from, from Compton, and how my parents taught me, being a child of God, it’s not about an eye for eye. …I wasn’t going to say, ‘Hey this person put a gun on me and tried to kill me,’ and put them in custody. But at the same time, once I knew they gave Bone immunity, and he can’t get in trouble, if I told the truth, nothing could happen to him, it’s a different story.”
In February, Matthew Fletcher, the former lawyer for Knight no contest to one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and one count of perjury and must resign from the California state bar for life after being accused of attempting to bribe witnesses in the matter. Prosecutors initially charged Fletcher with conspiracy to suborn perjury, obstruct justice, and bribe witnesses after claiming he and Knight plotted to bribe people to say they saw men with guns confronting Knight at Tam’s.
In the wrongful death lawsuit brought by the Carter family, Knight doubled down on his side of the story.
“The truth is this: Tam’s is called ‘Murder Burger’ for a reason. One thing we all know is, you can’t do anything by the area of Tam’s because of the cameras. …Nobody pulled their gun out by Tam’s. Everyone knows there’s cameras. Ask anybody, they call Tam’s ‘Murder Burger.’ Lots of people who didn’t know they have cameras there, they’re still in prison today,” he testified. “I hadn’t done anything wrong to these guys, for them to want to kill me, but there was a contract.”
The lawsuit was filed in 2015 and initially named Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and NBC Universal among the defendants, claiming they all knew Knight objected to Straight Outta Compton and had the intent to commit violent acts on set. They also claimed producers hired Sloan as security and negligently managed his actions. A judge found the three aforementioned parties were not responsible.
“The alleged fact that defendants ordered Bone to ‘take control of the situation’ and arrange a meeting with Carter does not make it highly foreseeable that Bone would ‘flank’ and ‘ambush’ Knight by continuing a personal fight with Knight in the presence of Bone’s associates or that Knight would attempt to recklessly and criminally attack Bone with his vehicle, or that Carter would be in any probable danger,” wrote Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brian Currey in a September 2016 decision.
The 57-year-old is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 2018. The jury is expected to deliberate next week once the current trial against Knight is concluded.