Rapper T.I. stood before a federal judge today to learn his fate after being arrested on September 1st in Los Angeles for possession of a controlled substance. The rapper was on probation for weapons possession at the time, and there was much speculation as to whether or not his arrest will be considered a violation of his probation and if he would be sent back to prison. According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, after his arrest, a U.S. probation officer alleged that T.I. committed three violations of his supervised release from prison: possessing ecstasy, testing positive for opiates and associating with a convicted felon. Pannell then ordered T.I. to appear back before him in court on Friday.
T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris, appeared before U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell Jr. at 2 p.m. Represented by a team of six attorneys, the rapper learned that his probation was revoked and he was sentenced to an additional eleven months in prison. "I screwed up," said T.I., wearing a three-piece gray suit. "I screwed up bigtime, and I'm sorry. I'm truly and sincerely sorry. I don't want and I don't need to use drugs anymore. I want them out of my life."
In keeping with the surreal tone surrounding the rapper the past few days (he helped talk down an alleged suicide attempt just two days ago on October 13th), a fire broke out outside the court room prior to the rapper's hearing.
None of these matters moved the judge. Pannell noted that he had tried an experimental sentence with Harris, who was initially convicted of weapons charges, by permitting him to stay out of prison while performing 1,000 hours of community service. The service consisted largely of visits with schoolchildren to speak out against violence, gangs and drugs. "I think Mr. Harris had had about the limit of second chances," Pannell said. "The worst thing is this case was an experiment."
The rapper must surrender to authorities in two weeks and must enter a high impact drug treatment program once he's released.