Pistol-packing Coolio takes one in court
GRAMMY- winning rapper Coolio pleaded guilty to unlawful firearm possession for carrying a loaded pistol in a backpack into Los Angeles International Airport last month and was sentenced to three years of probation.
The 53- year- old recording star, whose legal name is Artis Leon Ivey, was also ordered to perform 45 days of community service under a negotiated plea deal.
The deal would spare him from prison, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The rap artist was charged earlier this month with illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, an offence that carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.
At his Wednesday hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, he pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of carrying a concealed weapon.
Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for prosecutors, said the rapper could return to court in a year to have his latest felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanour, provided he fulfils his community service obligation by then and stays out of trouble with the law.
He already had two prior felony convictions on his record, from 2001 for carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle and in 2009 for possession of cocaine.
The judge told Coolio that if he were found to be in possession of even a single bullet during the next three years, he would face jail time for violating his probation.
The rap star told reporters after the hearing his latest brush with the law came from a “mistake”. – Reuters
Coolio is on three years’ probation.