Update: T.I. Enters Guilty Plea
And now T.I. (real name Clifford Harris, Jr.) has officially entered a plea of guilty to the charges he faced of possessing unregistered machine guns and silencers (two counts), and possessing firearms after having been convicted of a felony (one count) [to learn all the details of the case click here and here].
"While I'm not looking forward to being incarcerated, I have a long road of redemption to travel," T.I. said, reading a statement outside the Atlanta federal courthouse. "I am dedicated and committed to that."
The self-proclaimed King of the South, will be sentenced on these charges a year from today on March 27, 2009. If he abides by the conditions of his plea agreement he will be sentenced a year from now to one year plus one day in federal prison. He was originally facing a maximum of 10 years in prison and quarter-million dollar fines for each count against him.
Today, T.I. was fined just $100,000.
Per the reported terms of T.I.s plea agreement he must perform 1,000 hours of community service, which will include speaking to "at-risk young people," promoting respect for law enforcement, opposing violence, illegal and reckless use of firearms, illegal drugs and gang activity.
If T.I. chooses not to complete his community service obligations, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Pannell Jr. could impose a harsher sentence than one year of incarceration, to the tune of 57 months in prison and up to 97 months if the judge determines T.I. has not accepted responsibility for his actions.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the platinum superstar did not make any statements during the hearing, only offering polite "yes" and "no" replies to the judge's questions in addition to admitting to the judge that he was indeed guilty of the charges against him.
Until his sentencing T.I. will remain under monitored home confinement, where he has been since he was released on $3 million bond on October 26th to await trial, and only allowed a reprieve from once to attend church service on Easter Sunday [click here to read].
After T.I.s change-of-plea hearing today and subsequent sentencing he will still be eligible for a reduced commitment to the court if he fulfills the terms of this agreement and maintains good behavior while incarcerated. Because his sentence is technically longer than one year, he is eligible to earn 15 percent time off for good behavior.
T.I. had reportedly been working on his sixth solo album, Paper Trail, while on home incarceration [click here and here for all of the details on the album]. No word has surfaced yet on the current status of that recording.
The Co-CEO of Grand Hustle Records was also reportedly getting set to executive produce a reality television show surrounding the life of Los Angeles based recording artist Mars [click here for all the details].
T.I.s lead attorney, Dwight L. Thomas, could not be reached for comment as of press time regarding todays proceedings or any of his clients future plans.