Saturday, October 16, 2010


Declaring that T.I. “has had about the limit of second chances,” an angry federal judge on Friday sentenced the rapper and movie actor to 11 more months in prison for violating his probation. T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., asked the court for leniency. “I screwed up,” said the rapper, 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.” But U.S. District Court Judge Charles Pannell Jr. was unmoved. Pannell noted that he had tried an extraordinary sentence with Harris, who was initially convicted of weaspons 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 has had about the limit of second chances,” Pannell said. “The worst thing is this case was an experiment.” Pannell said he had hoped the idea would work and could be adapted for use in other cases. But then he looked atHarris and said: “You certainly dumped a lot of smut on the whole experiment.” T.I. was still on probation on federal weapons charges when he was arrested Sept. 1 in Los Angeles. He and his wife, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, were taken into custody during a traffic stop in West Hollywood in which deputies said they smelled a strong odor of marijuana from inside the car. They were soon released on bond. After the 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. U.S. Attorney Sally Yates had recommended that Harris be sent back to prison for two years. Steve Sadow, his lawyer, had asked that Harris be given at least six months of home confinement during which he would attend an inpatient drug rehabilitation program.

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