Jurors tasked with deciding whether or not Suge Knight should be held liable and pay millions in damages for killing Terry Carter declared themselves “deadlocked” on Friday (June 17).
Nine votes out of 12 are needed for a verdict in the wrongful death case, however, jurors told the judge their vote was split seven-to-five without confirming which way they were leaning.
The judge allowed the jurors to go home early, but order them back on Tuesday morning to continue deliberations.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Thomas D. Long said:
We realize you have a very difficult split, but the consensus for everyone is we want to try to find an end to this case, if at all possible.
We want to make sure that all efforts to reach a verdict, one way or the other, have been exhausted.
On January 29, 2015, Suge Knight and Cle “Bone” Sloan, who was working on the set of Straight Outta Compton, began fighting through the driver’s side window of Suge’s pickup truck.
When the truck reversed, it knocked Sloan to the ground.
Suge put the truck in drive, barreling over Sloan’s body lying in the street before he fatally struck 55-year-old Terry Carter.
The former Death Row Records mogul is claiming self-defense.
The jury was given new instructions in the case.
Via Rolling Stone:
“If you believe that Marion ‘Suge’ Knight was lawfully acting in self-defense, he must do so while using reasonable care to avoid injury to innocent bystanders,” one of the new instructions given Friday read.
The second instruction said, “the right to self-defense ends when there is no longer any apparent danger of further violence on the part of the assailant,” including after an alleged victim acts in self-defense and “uses enough force upon his attacker as to render the attacker apparently incapable of inflicting further injuries.”
Carter family lawyer Lance Behringer argued Suge was no longer in imminent danger once Sloan was laid out on the ground.
He knocks him down. He has the right to do that, 100-percent. If someone comes after you, you have the right to knock them down. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.
Behringer pointed out at that point the threat was neutralized.
At that moment, that’s when you’ve got to stop. That’s what the law says, and you’ve got to follow the law.
You can’t just go crazy and take people down.
Knight’s lawyer, David Kenner argued Terry Carter was not an innocent victim.
Kenner says Carter invited Suge to Tam’s Burgers to broker payment for the use of his name and likeness in Straight Outta Compton.
But, when Suge arrived he was ambushed by multiple men.
He is not an innocent bystander if he injects himself into the confrontation.
He sees what Cle ‘Bone’ Sloan is doing, and he walks into that scene.
He is next to the car, and a tragic accident occurred.
This was an unfortunate accident. This was not the result of negligence.
Suge Knight is currently serving 28 years behind bars after taking a plea deal that allowed him to avoid a murder trial and a possible life sentence if convicted.
The Carter family is seeking $81 million in damages.
Deliberations will resume on Tuesday (June 21).
Source: Rolling Stone