T.I. Sentenced to a Year and a Day in Federal Prison
As expected (and previously reported), rap star T.I. will serve a year and a day in prison over a 2007 felony weapons charge stemming from his October 2007 arrest. The self-proclaimed King of the South was officially handed the 366-days sentence today in Atlanta. "Today I would like to say thank-you to some, and apologize to all," the rapper said at a press conference outside the courtroom.
T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris, has waited a year to hear his official sentence while adhering to the stipulations of his plea agreement. The rapper, who told The BoomBox earlier this month that he wasn't "thrilled" to serve time, is expected to turn himself in to the authorities within the next 30 to 60 days. "I'm looking forward to moving forward," T.I. plainly stated.
Northern Georgia District Judge Charles Pannell Jr. called the rapper's plea arrangement "experimental," but ultimately a success. Parnell praised the rapper for exceeding the expectations expecting from the deal. "I'm resistant to the lockup mentality," Pannell told the courtroom. "I hope this sentencing leads to other experiments that will protect the community and show a respect for the law." Judge Pannell's satisfaction with how T.I. handled his pending situation may have resulted in some more leniency as the court acknowledged that the rapper has prior commitments that will not allow him to enter prison before May 19.
T.I. pleaded guilty to a federal weapons charge and agreed to complete 1,000 hours of community service prior to his sentencing. He also agreed to complete an additional 500 hours of community service once released from prison.
T.I. will open up about his upcoming jail time on "T.I.'s Road to Redemption: The Reckoning," airing Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on MTV.