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A judge set a trial date for next year in the murder case of former rap impresario Marion “Suge” Knight, characterizing it Thursday as a “must-go date” in a legal saga that has dragged on for more than two years.

Knight, 51, is accused of barreling his red truck into two men in the parking lot of a Compton burger stand in late January 2015, killing 55-year-old Terry Carter. Footage from a security camera shows Knight — who has pleaded not guilty and says he acted in self-defense — plowing his truck into the men. Knight fled the scene, but later turned himself in.

On Thursday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen set the trial for Jan. 8, 2018, saying he expected the proceeding to take about a month. Carter’s daughter, Nekaya, who has portrayed past delays as justice deferred for her father, said she was grateful for the progress.

“It’s far away, but it’s a step,” she said. “We need this trial to move forward — closure.”

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