Rapper T.I. pleads guilty in U.S. gun case
By Karen Jacobs
ATLANTA (Reuters) - Grammy Award-winning rapper T.I. reversed course on Thursday and pleaded guilty to three charges of illegal weapons possession.
The 27-year-old rapper could have faced up to 10 years in prison for each of the charges, but under terms of his plea agreement he will receive a lighter penalty.
Sentencing will be delayed until March 2009. In the meantime, T.I., who was born Clifford Harris, must serve at least 1,000 hours of community service.
If he lives up to his deferred sentencing agreement, he will be sentenced to one year in prison, pay a $100,000 fine, spend three years under supervised release, including a year of home detention, and perform a total of 1,500 hours of community service, U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said in a statement.
If the rapper doesn't hold up his end of the deal, he will receive a much longer sentence, Nahmias said.
"That (community) service will focus on using his high public visibility and his talents and life experience to tell at-risk young people about the mistakes he has made and to educate them about the dangers of violence, guns, gangs, and drugs," Nahmias said.
"If Mr. Harris (T.I.) performs as expected, his efforts and ability to reach and influence a large number of young people should prevent and deter at least some of them from committing crimes that endanger their communities and ruin their lives," the statement said.
T.I. won two Grammys last year. He starred in the 2006 film "ATL" and appeared with Denzel Washington in the 2007 movie "American Gangster." Continued...