A story for every victim

Terry Carter, 55

Terry Carter, a 55-year-old black man, died Thursday, Jan. 29, after a hit-and-run accident near South Central and East Rosecrans avenues in Compton, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

That day, Marion “Suge” Knight and other big-name rappers were on set to film a commercial for “Straight Outta Compton,” a biopic about N.W.A, a group from the early days of the genre.

On the set, sheriff’s deputies asked Knight, 49, to leave after he began arguing with another man, Cle “Bone” Sloan, Lt. John Corina told The Times.

Later, at Tam’s Burgers at South Central and East Rosecrans avenues, Knight was in his red Ford F-150 Raptor shortly before 3 p.m. when he and Sloan got into another argument, Corina said.

While Knight was still sitting in his truck, he and Sloan argued and exchanged punches. Knight reversed his truck, knocking Sloan to the ground, Corina said.

Knight then drove forward, appearing to aim the vehicle at Sloan and Carter, who was standing next to Sloan, authorities said.

Carter, who detectives say was not involved in the argument, died at the scene.

Sloan, 51, who appeared in “Training Day” with Denzel Washington and is also a filmmaker and activist against gang violence, was said to be stable and is expected to survive.

After striking the men, Knight drove off without notifying authorities Corina said.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Knight had a hold on his driver’s license and was not allowed to renew it because of an outstanding issue.

In the past, his license had been suspended for failure to appear in court.  Knight’s attorney, James E. Blatt, described Carter as a good friend of Knight who was trying to break up the fight.

Blatt also said that Knight went to Tam’s Burgers at Carter’s invitation. There, Blatt said, Knight was attacked by four men, including Sloan, and was trying to escape, fearing for his life, when he ran over Carter and Sloan.

Knight was heartbroken when he learned Carter had died, Blatt said. The two had known each other since the 1980s and were in business together for a time. Knight turned himself in for questioning at the West Hollywood sheriff’s station the next day.  Knight was charged Feb. 2 with one count of murder, one count of attempted murder and two counts of hit-and-run with an allegation that he committed a serious felony while out on bail in another pending case. 

This could be a third strike for Knight, who appeared  in a Compton courthouse Feb. 3 and pleaded not guilty. He was out on bail in another pending robbery case.

Moments after the hearing, he was taken to a local hospital for an undisclosed medical reason, said Nicole Nishida, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department.

Carter was described by friends as a father figure in South Los Angeles who helped young men escape gang life. He was also the founder and owner of Heavyweight Records.

Carter, known as “Pops” to friends, even advised young people on how to invest money in legitimate business, said Darcell Carraway, who described himself as a longtime friend.

“As young black men, we don’t have many people that help us,” he said. “This is a big loss.”

-- Los Angeles Times staff

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