T.I. Gets 11 Months in Jail For Probation Violation
T.I. helped talk a jumper down from an Atlanta skyscraper this week, but he could not talk a federal judge into giving him another chance to stay out of prison.
Declaring T.I. “has had about the limit of second chances,” U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell Jr. sentenced him to 11 months in prison for violating probation.
He will begin serving his time at a later date.
T.I. and Tiny after his (short-lived) release earlier this year.
“I screwed up,” said T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., pleading for leniency. “I screwed up big time, 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.”
The judge was unmoved.
“The worst thing is this case was an experiment,” Pannell said of T.I.’s early release this year. “You certainly dumped a lot of smut on the whole experiment.”
Pannell had sentenced the rapper to a year and a day in prison for his 2007 arrest on weapons charges, an unprecedented deal that shaved almost four years off a potential sentence, provided he perform 1,000 hours of community service.
The service, which he completed, consisted largely of visits with children to speak against violence, gangs and drugs. He seemed to be turning things around.
T.I. finished his time in prison and a halfway house earlier this year and was set, free, but was still on probation when he was arrested September 1 in L.A.
That day, T.I. and Tameka “Tiny” Cottle were taken into custody after a traffic stop in W. Hollywood revealed the couple was in possession of illegal drugs.
He was arrested for ecstasy and booked. There may have been sizzurp use as well, but his probation was clearly violated, meaning that detail matters little.
The judge says the rapper initially lied to a probation officer about the five pills of ecstasy found his pants pocket when he was arrested on September 1.
He first said the pants he had on belonged to a designer – Paris Hilton would be proud of that classic excuse – then said they were actually his brother’s.
In the back seat of the car was Cortez Thomas, a convicted felon who was the middleman in the undercover weapons deal that got T.I. in trouble in 2007.
Thomas was arrested this year on ecstasy and marijuana distribution charges while driving T.I.’ car, with large quantities of cash and a gun inside it.
T.I. also submitted to a drug test after his arrest and tested positive for opiates, according to reports, leaving the judge little choice but to lock him back up.
Sad, but hopefully he’ll be able to find redemption. His heroic deed this week shows he’s trying to make good, but he probably needs this setback, too.