LOS ANGELES — Former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight was sentenced Thursday to 28 years in prison during a Los Angeles court hearing that came nearly four years after he killed one man and injured another with his truck outside a Compton burger stand.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen handed down the sentence as expected.
Members of Terry Carter’s family addressed the court including daughter Crystal, who called Knight “a disgusting, selfish disgrace to the human species.”
Knight stared forward throughout.
Knight avoided a murder trial that was about to begin when he agreed two weeks ago to plead no contest to voluntary manslaughter and accept the sentence.
The Death Row Records co-founder appeared in court for the sentencing wearing orange prison attire with chains on his arms and legs alongside Albert Deblanc Jr., his 16th lawyer in the case.
The sentence represents the low point of a long decline for Knight, one of the most important figures in the history of hip-hop.
At his pinnacle in the mid-1990s, he was putting out wildly popular records that are now considered classics from Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.
Knight was at the center of the feud between East Coast and West Coast rappers that marked the middle of that decade. Shakur was in Knight’s car when he was killed in a drive-by attack in Las Vegas in 1996.
Knight had felony convictions for armed robbery and assault. He lost control of Death Row after it was forced into bankruptcy.
In January 2015, he got into a fight with a longtime rival, Cle “Bone” Sloan, a consultant on the N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton.”
In a moment captured on surveillance video, Knight backed his truck into Sloan, who was injured, then drove it forward into businessman Carter, who died from his injuries. Knight’s attorneys have said it was an act of self-defense.
Voluntary manslaughter would normally bring a sentence of 11 years in prison, but Knight’s conviction along with his previous felonies triggers California’s three strikes law.
That doubled the manslaughter sentence and adds an extra six years.
The agreement also cleared Knight in two other cases, both from 2014. He was accused of stealing a camera from a woman and of sending threatening text messages to “Straight Outta Compton” director F. Gary Gray.