Suge Knight testified for the first time on Wednesday (Jun. 8) and discussed the events leading up to the death of Terry Carter in 2015.
The former Death Row Records boss tried and failed to speak to Dr. Dre about the Straight Outta Compton movie but ended up careening his car into Carter and another man outside Tam’s burger stand, killing the businessman.
He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in September 2018 after accepting a plea deal. The Carter family is suing Suge Knight for wrongful death.
Suge Knight Takes The Stand
“I was told about that,” he said. “People showed me checks, canceled checks.” Suge Knight says he was on his way to speak to Dre about it the day Carter was killed.
“Dr. Dre — we’ve been really good friends for years,” Suge testified. “Matter of fact, I know his kids, he knows my kids. And I was told that he had paid some guys to harm me,” Knight testified. “I didn’t believe it because authorities do lie. So I went up there. …I was going to talk to him and say, ‘Hey man, I’m not going to react to what authorities say about you having something to do with me getting shot. I just want to make you aware they are saying this, putting it out there.’”
However, according to Suge Knight, he didn’t get the chance to speak to Dr. Dre or Ice Cube as they were busy. He says he was leaving when he was told by someone to wait. He claims he was told to come back ” because we’ve been trying to catch you to take care of you.”
While waiting around, Cle “Bone” Sloan, a gang member working security for the movie, got upset about a joke he made and began to get “aggressive.”
After leaving he got a call from Carter, a long-time friend who invited him to a meeting with Dr. Dre. It was to take place at the home of Dwayne “Knob” Johnson across the street from Tam’s.
“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,” Suge Knight claimed.
Suge Claims He Was Ambushed
He decided to go but when he arrived, he claims he was ambushed by Sloan who was armed with a gun. Suge says Sloan began punching him through his truck’s open window. He claims he “feared for his life” and was acting in self-defense when he drove into Sloan and Carter, killing Carter.
When the Carter family lawyers pointed out that after reversing out of the parking lot in fear, he then turned back into the lot, Suge Knight responded that fear “sort of freezes you.”
The plaintiff’s attorney also questioned why Suge Knight, during his initial police interview, failed to mention Sloan brandishing a gun.
Elsewhere in the proceedings the attorney noted that Knight’s former lawyer recently pled guilty to conspiracy and perjury. Prosecutors allege the pair conspired to bribe people to say they saw Suge Knight threatened with a gun during the incident at Tam’s.