NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rapper Lil Wayne temporarily escaped jail on Tuesday when his sentencing for possessing a gun was postponed on the same day he bid goodbye to fans in a video he posted on the Web.
Lil Wayne, 27, whose real name is Dwayne Carter, appeared in New York State Supreme Court where his sentencing was postponed until March 2 because he needed time to heal from a dental operation, his lawyer Stacey Richman told the court.
Carter, whose “Tha Carter III” won best rap album at the 2009 Grammy Awards, had agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors on a charge of attempted criminal possession of a weapon after a gun was found in his tour bus in July 2007. He is expected to be sentenced to a year of jail time.
The rapper, dressed in black jeans and a blue bomber jacket, did not speak at the hearing held before New York State Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon, who told the rapper the sentencing would not be postponed again.
In a video to fans posted on www.ustream.tv on Tuesday, Carter said: “Thank you from the bottom of me. Do not forget about me ‘cause I will forever think about you, and I cannot wait for you to see me again. I‘m out.”
In the February 18 edition of Rolling Stone magazine, Carter said: “This is Lil Wayne going to jail. Nobody I can talk to can tell me what that’s like. I just say I‘m looking forward to it.”
The rapper would have faced more serious gun possession charges if the case had gone to trial, as well as a maximum 15-year prison sentence, a spokeswoman at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said.
“Tha Carter III” was the biggest-selling U.S. release of 2008 and won him best rap album and three other prizes at the 2009 Grammy Awards. His new album “Rebirth” was released on February 2 after delays and largely negative reviews.
Reporting by Basil Katz, Editing by Christine Kearney and Bob Tourtellotte