Rapper T.I. sentenced to 11 months in jail

Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:44pm EDT
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By Matthew Bigg

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Grammy Award-winning rapper T.I. was sentenced on Friday to serve 11 months in jail for violating the terms of his probation after he was arrested in September on suspicion of possessing ecstasy.

"I screwed up. I screwed up big time and I am sorry," the singer told U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell, who also ordered him to serve a year of supervised release.

T.I., 30, has won three Grammy Awards, most recently in 2008 for "Swagga Like Us" and has been nominated 12 times. Even by the standards of U.S. hip-hop stars, T.I. has undergone a remarkable few years.

In 2007, he faced a possible 30 years in prison on federal gun charges after he was arrested the same day he was due to have starred at the Black Entertainment Television awards where he had been nominated for a series of honors.

A judge eventually sentenced him to just one year in jail after he pleaded guilty and agreed to do 1,000 hours of community service, warning young people about the dangers of drugs and gangs -- work for which he was widely praised.

T.I. on Friday acknowledged he violated the terms of his probation when police stopped him for a traffic violation in Los Angeles on September 1 and found drugs in his car.

But the hearing turned on what penalty he should pay, given that he had already received what U.S. Attorney Sally Yates described as an "unprecedented reduction" in his original sentence. Yates requested a two-year sentence.

DUMPING SMUT   Continued...