Although, Clifford Harris aka TI saved a life on Oct. 13, he still had to face the music in court yesterday. He appeared in court with the support of his family and close celebrity friends like Monica, Pastor Troy, Rashan Ali and more.
He violated his probation, when he was arrested with wife Tiny in LA on Sept. 1. and found with drugs, in the vicinity of a convicted felon, and failing the drug test.
He pleaded for a 3rd time to be a free man and admitted to his shortcomings. Instead,the same US District Judge Charles Pannell Jr., whom had granted him his first sentence of a year and day with community service to kids, decided TI would return to jail to serve an 11 month sentence at a later date.(After, the sentencing, CNN stated Tiny ran out of the courtroom crying.)
Declaring TI, “has had about the limit of second chances,” Judge Pannell Jr. was unmoved and upset about TI’s actions.
The worst thing is this case was an experiment,” Pannell said. The judge said he hoped the extraordinary sentence Harris initially received would work and could be adapted for use in other cases. ( The average person would’ve received 4 years for the initial arrest TI went to jail for the first time.)
But then Pannell looked at Harris and said: “You certainly dumped a lot of smut on the whole experiment.”
TI admitted he messed up in saying, “I screwed up,” said Harris, 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.”
“I’ve lived the same life that those kids have,” he said. As I discovered in talking to my probation officer , I had many problems from my childhood. Now I am down to the disease of addiction. I need help. For me, my mother, my kids. I need the court to give me mercy. Judge, don’t send me back to prison.”
Then, the court room precidings got a little more detailed and interesting from there according to AJC, US. Attorney Sally Yates told Pannell the rapper had already had submitted two diluted urine samples before his arrest and initially lied to a probation officer about the five pills of ecstasy found his pants pocket when he was arrested. He first said the pants belonged to a designer, then said they were his brother’s, Yates said.
According to AJC, In the back seat of the car Harris was driving sat Cortez Thomas, a convicted felon who was the middleman in the undercover weapons deal that got Harris in trouble in the first place, Yates said. Thomas also was arrested this year on ecstasy and marijuana distribution charges while driving Harris’ car, she said, noting that inside the vehicle police found large quantities of cash and a gun.
Harris also submitted to a drug test after the arrest and tested positive for opiates, Yates noted.
Yates said she was a strong proponent of the initial deal and believed Harris had reached large numbers of youth and made a big difference.
“We hoped he would demonstrate he’d turned his life around and serve as an excellent role model — that he was someone who was living what he was preaching,” she said.
Yates asked Pannell to sentence the defendant to two years in prison.
Harris’ lawyers reminded Pannell that the rapper helped talk a man down from the top of a building on Wednesday. They called for Atlanta Police Officer James Polite, who told Pannell he was there when it happened and believed the rapper was “very instrumental” in talking the man down.
“I don’t believe it was a stunt of any kind,” Polite said.
Ed Garland, one of Harris’ lawyers, said the rapper has long been addicted to drugs, and after having seven root canals and three teeth extracted early this year began taking prescription painkillers that “brought back an experience he had escaped from.”
Harris took some and kept some for later, and he also began using ecstasy with his wife and drinking prescription cough medicine mixed with soda water.
“Progressively, slowly, he went off the wagon,” Garland said. “He wasn’t being a bad person, except to himself.”
Defense attorney Steve Sadow asked Pannell to sentence Harris to six months’ home confinement and allow him to be admitted into an inpatient rehabilitation program. After that, he would receive more therapy and submit to urine screens three times a week.
But Pannell said he would have imposed a longer sentence the first time if he had known Harris was going to be back in court as he was Friday.
Pannell told Harris that he will be on probation again after his release from prison and could get up to three years more time if he commits another offense. And he told the rapper that while on probation the next time, he is not to drive a car.
“He is not going to be found cruising the streets of L.A. again … while serving my sentence,” the judge said.
So what do you think about this case after hearing the full details?
( I’m deeply saddened to hear the news about TI, I’m praying for his children and families. I guess that means the much anticipated and awaited new album will be pushed back even further. )