Pis­tol-pack­ing Coo­lio takes one in court

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - STEVE GOR­MAN

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.

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