A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has declared a mistrial in a wrongful death lawsuit against hip-hop mogul Suge Knight over the death of Terry Carter.
The jury was deadlocked after they reviewed a lawsuit filed in 2015 by Carter’s wife Lillian after Knight ran over her husband on the set of the 2015 NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, according to the LA Times.
According to court documents obtained by the newspaper, the jury was deadlocked at a 7-5 score in favor of Carter.
Although jury deliberations began last Tuesday, the jury decided after less than half an hour on Wednesday that “it is necessary to declare a mistrial.”
A decision requires nine votes in favor of the plaintiff.
“The court and the lawyer are conferring about declaring a mistrial. Both parties agree that a mistrial should be declared,” the court filing, which the newspaper obtained, reads.
Carter’s widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Knight, Universal Studios Inc. and rappers Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, who were also featured in the film.
The lawsuit alleged that Universal was negligent in continuing filming in Compton after Dre warned the producers to keep Knight, the co-founder of Death Row Records, away from the filming location due to years of conflict.
The lawsuit alleged that the producers were aware of the tension between Dre and Knight, but proceeded to film anyway.
The complaint also alleged that Universal had negligently hired Cle “Bone” Sloan, a longtime rival of Knight whose fight with a hip-hop artist resulted in Carter being hit by a car. Sloane worked as a consultant on the film and helped secure deals with gang members so he could film in Compton.
Knight, played in the film by actor R. Marcus Taylor, was upset by the way he was portrayed.
He was released on bail for a robbery in 2014 when he was caught on video driving his pickup truck down Sloane in the parking lot of Tam’s Burger in Compton several times and then fatally hit 55-year-old Carter before making a getaway.
In 2018, Knight was sentenced to 28 years in prison after evading trial on charges of murder and attempted murder, citing a refusal to participate in voluntary manslaughter.
In a letter read aloud at an emotional sentencing hearing, Lillian Carter said that “her children had been robbed of the only father they knew. By the grace of God, I survive. Don’t live, survive. This is a nightmare,” wrote the widow.
“I am no longer the mother, sister, wife that I once was. I am no longer a wife because of the defendant’s senseless actions.”
A lengthy prison term ended a long career decline for Knight, who co-founded Death Row with Dre and helped launch the careers of Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.
He lost control of death row after it was forced into bankruptcy and has a criminal record for armed robbery and assault.