Suge Knight hasn’t been the CEO of Death Row Records for a long time now. He’s currently serving a 28-year sentence for a 2015 hit-and-run in which he clipped Straight Outta Compton consultant Che “Bone” Sloan with his truck after a fight and ran over and killed Compton businessman Terry Carter. However, his reduced stature in the music business hasn’t stopped Carter’s family’s attorney from demanding $81 million in a wrongful death suit filed against Knight.
According to Rolling Stone, Lance Behringer, the lawyer pursuing the case for Knight’s family, said in court Tuesday that Knight owes Carter’s widow and daughters at least $1 million apiece for each year Carter could have been expected to live had he not been killed by Knight (three times 27 is how you get 81). Behringer is quoted saying, “Dying on the concrete floor alone at Tam’s Burgers was not a natural death. He was taken from these three women. Nobody’s comfortable talking about money, But that’s what we have to do.”
Knight pled no contest to voluntary manslaughter to avoid trial back in 2018, and to avoid having a guilty verdict used in the then-impending civil trial. Since his own plea could not be used as evidence, the trial had to rely on the evidence that would have been used during the criminal trial had it proceeded, which included security video taken from the Tam’s Burgers restaurant where the incident occurred. At the time, Suge maintained that he believed Carter and Sloan were making an attempt on his life after arguing and fighting with Sloan but in the course of explaining himself, he gave what could have been an incriminating answer.
“I was going straight,” he said. “I seen the guy in the front of my truck. I seen the guy in my mirror. I wanted to make sure to get this guy, and I did.” If he’s found liable for Carter’s death, whatever penalty is determined for him to pay the family will be just one he faces; in 2020, he was ordered to pay $107 million to former Death Row employees for pushing them out.