Rap mogul Suge Knight to serve 28 years in murder plea deal

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Former rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter on Thursday and will serve 28 years in prison for running over and killing a man three years ago.

Knight's plea, which was unveiled in a Los Angeles courtroom, came just days before he was to stand trial for the death of 55-year-old Terry Carter, who was run down outside an LA restaurant in 2015 following a dispute over the movie "Straight Outta Compton."

The 53-year-old rap music icon has been held behind bars since January 2015 when he was arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder and hit-and-run after ramming his pick-up truck into Carter and another man in the driveway of a fast-foot restaurant in Compton.

His lawyers had argued that he did not intend to harm the victims -- one of whom survived -- and was trying to drive away after a gun attack in broad daylight.

The incident, which was captured on surveillance video, took place following an argument over "Straight Outta Compton," a biopic about the pioneering rap group NWA.

Prosecutors said Knight was upset over not being paid for the use of his likeness in the film.

Knight, who co-founded Death Row Records along with hip-hop music king Dr Dre in the early 1990s, had been facing up to life in prison in the case.

Under the plea deal, he is set to be sentenced to 28 years in state prison on October 4.

Death Row Records launched stars such as Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur but collapsed in 1996 when Knight was jailed for violating a probation order by beating up a rival in Las Vegas.

He again served a 10-month jail stint in 2003 after getting into a fight outside a Hollywood nightclub.