Rapper T.I. has been sentenced to a year and day in prison for felony weapons charges by an Atlanta Federal Court judge. The charges stem from his 2007 arrest after he illegally tried to buy machine guns and silencers.
The sentence was set by a plea deal that T.I.’s lawyers secured last March. The deal stated that Tip would complete 1,500 hours of community service and pay $100,000 in fines in exchange for a 366-day prison sentence.
T.I., who’s real name is Clifford Harris, showed up in court at 9:30 a.m. Friday, March 27 for sentencing. Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, T.I.’s fiancée was in the courtroom too.
Judge Charles Pannell Jr. called the deal experimental, but he acknowledged that Tip had done far better than expected under it, MTV News reports.
"I’m resistant to the lockup mentality," Judge Pannell told the courtroom. "I hope this sentencing leads to other experiments that will protect the community and show a respect for the law."
Tip was also ordered to serve 365 days of house arrest, but he’s already served 305 days. T.I.’s also been ordered to finish off his community service. So far, he’s completed 1,030 hours (that doesn’t count his MTV show, “T.I.’s Road to Redemption: 45 days to go”).
Although T.I. was sentenced today, he’s still got a little more time to say his goodbyes. According to MTV News, T.I. won’t be taken into custody before May 19 because the judge noted that he has a few more commitments to honor before he’s put away.
Legal experts say that the specific sentence term might allow T.I. early release for good behavior. But if he’d just been sentenced to one year, he would have been required to complete the full sentence.
Once T.I. gets out he’ll be under three years of supervised release. He’ll also be subject to random searches of his property, drug tests, DNA tests and an audit of his finances.
– Sonya Eskridge