Suge Knight Pleads No Contest to Voluntary Manslaughter
Rap legend Suge Knight pled no contest to voluntary manslaughter last month in connection with a 2015 hit-and-run accident that led to the death of a man in Compton. Knight, 53, could serve up to 28 years in prison for the death of Terry Carter. He was charged with intentionally running over Carter and another man in his Ford F-150 in the driveway of Tam’s Burgers in Compton.
The voluntary manslaughter charge comes with an 11-year sentence in California, which is doubled because of a prior felony conviction, and another six years were added at the end for the use of a deadly weapon when committing a felony. As part of his plea deal, other pending criminal charges have been dismissed, including threatening the director of the film “Straight Outta Compton” and robbing a photographer in Beverly Hills.
Levels of Homicide in California
In California, there are multiple levels of homicide a person can be charged with depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. First degree murder is defined as an unlawful killing that is willful, deliberate, and premeditated while second degree murder is only willful, but not deliberate and premeditated. Voluntary manslaughter lacks malice and the killing is done in the heat of passion, while involuntary manslaughter occurs when a killing happens in a situation in which there was a conscious disregard for human life. Vehicular manslaughter is charged when a driver of a vehicle kills a person. The penalties for these crimes are as follows:
- First degree murder: 25 years to life in prison
- Second degree murder: 15 years to life in prison
- Voluntary manslaughter: Three, six, or 11 years in prison
- Involuntary manslaughter: Two, three, or four years in prison
- Vehicular manslaughter felony: Two to 10 years in prison
- Vehicular manslaughter misdemeanor: Up to one year in county jail
Additional time may be added to these sentences if the crimes were classified as hate crimes, if the offense was gang-related, or if a weapon was used in the commission of the crime. Victim restitution and fines up to $10,000 may also be added as penalties for the homicide charge.
Call a Los Angeles Murder and Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has been charged with homicide in Beverly Hills or the greater Los Angeles area, it is incredibly important that you call a criminal defense attorney right away. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler are prepared to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a review of your case.