Expressing disgust at the attention focused on rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight, the family of the businessman and foster parent that Knight is accused of killing, Terry Carter, is welcoming the public to remember him at a memorial service.
It is scheduled to begin at noon Saturday in the First AME Church in the West Adams District of Los Angeles.
Carter family members who gathered Friday in one of the church's chapels described Carter as a tireless worker, creative businessman, and doting husband and parent committed to giving back to the community.
"That's just who he was. He never asked for anything in return," said Mia Bolton, 22, who grew up in the Carter household, as did some 20 foster children over the years.
Niece Aryca Sawyer, 21, said Carter raised her as one of his own children. Even after she was grown and living away, she recalled, Carter was always ready to help.
"If I ever needed anything, they said, 'Call Big Terry,'" she said.
Carter, 55, was killed in a Compton parking lot when he and another man, actor Cle Sloan, 51, were struck by Knight's pickup truck.
Authorities allege it was deliberate, and Knight has been charged with murder, attempted murder, and two counts of felony hit and run. Tuesday, Knight, 49, pleaded not guilty.
Knight's attorneys have said he is saddened by the death of Carter, whom he considered a friend.
Members of the Carter family bristled at the suggestion, and denounced media attention focusing on Knight, the one-time rap music kingpin.
"It's eating at me," said niece Jasmine Reynolds, 31. "Before we talk about the incident, we have to put "Suge" Knight — his name should not even be in the sentence, in comparison with Terry Carter."
The parallels in their two lives are perhaps as striking as the differences.
Both grew up in Compton, with a fierce determination to succeed that led both into the rap music world, where both co-founded record companies with former member of the trailblazing rap crew NWA.
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After the group split apart, Andre "Dr. Dre" Young teamed with Knight to create Death Row Records. O'Shea Jackson, better known as "Ice Cube," partnered with Carter to launch Heayweight Records.
Knight cultivated a tough guy persona and twice has been convicted of felonies in assault cases.
Carter's entry into the entertainment and music worlds came as an outgrowth of his custom auto work, according to cousin Rickey Fegan. Rappers wanted Carter lowrider vehicles for music videos, he said.
Carter also was involved in real estate. Despite his varied interests and family commitments, Carter found time to mentor youth and help their careers, family members said.
First AME Pastor J. Edgar Boyd will preside at Saturday's memorial.