T.I. Going To The Slammer

It’s not shaping up to be very good day in the life of T.I. A judge just sentenced the rapper to a year plus a day in prison for federal weapons charges.

T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., apologized at the hearing.

“Today I would like to say thank you to some, and apologize to all.”

Photo: AP Photo
T.I.leaves a press conference after being sentenced to one year and one day on federal weapons charges.

The road to the big house started in October 2007 when T.I. was arrested for attempting to buy unregistered machine guns and silencers. Adding to his misfortune, the arrest took place just blocks from where he was to headline the BET Hip-Hop Awards.

T.I. pleaded guilty to the weapons crime last year, and now he gets the time.

But it could have been worse. T.I. originally pleaded not guilty and was facing a possible 10 years in prison plus a $250,000 fine for each count, but last year’s guilty plea cut it down to the more manageable one year plus-a-day sentence.

In addition to the guilty plea reducing his sentence, T.I. has also been performing community service during the last year – 1,000 hours, including warning youths about guns, drugs and violence, plus 262 public service announcements. He still needs to complete 470 additional hours. Don’t know if he’ll be able to wrap up those hours while in prison, but it does appear the rapper will have a ready-made audience to which he can preach the finer points of living on the straight and narrow.

How did T.I. end up in this predicament? One word – fear.

That’s what T.I. said drove him to try to purchase the guns. His best friend, Philant Johnson, was killed after a post-show concert in Cincinnati in 2006.

Now the question is when will T.I. begin his sentence. One of his lawyers, Ed Garland, told reports they weren’t sure when their client would exchange his civvies for institutional wardrobe. He has between 30 to 60 days to report to prison.