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T.I. will stay in jail!

Posted by Media Outrage on October 19, 2007

T.I.

Rapper T.I. will remain in jail on weapons charges for at least another week, after a federal judge on Friday denied any immediate release on bond.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman said he will hold another hearing next Friday to further consider conditions proposed by the rap star’s lawyers that may prompt him to release their client pending trial.

“I haven’t decided on releasing him yet,” Baverman said, “I just haven’t heard the conditions yet and I’m not satisifed.”

Baverman also said that if he does grant bond, he wants to be comfortable with an entire “package” of conditions that assure that T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., will not flee or pose a danger to others.

The judge also told Harris’s defense attorneys he does not have time to monitor Harris. “I’m not going to get involved in essentially being the warden for Mr. Harris,” Baverman said.

Harris also was arraigned at the hearing, and he entered a plea of not guilty to the weapons charges.

After Harris entered his plea, assistant U.S. Attorney Francey Hakes disclosed that the case is part of “an ongoing investigation” and indicated more changes may be coming. Harris’s trial would take less than a week, Hakes said, “as the indictment stands now.”

Lawyers for Harris proposed that he be released on a $2.2 million bond, which included separate bonds backed by his record company, record company executives. Harris also agreed to post the equity of his two homes, which his lawyer, Ed Garland, estimated are worth about $1.5 million.

Garland also said Harris would agree to stay in his home with 24-hour-a-day electronic and human monitoring.

But Baverman said he wants more information about who will be chosen as Harris’s monitor, who would live inside Harris’s home and how they would search visitors and alert authorities if Harris violated any conditions. The judge said he wants to consider a list of companies that do such monitoring and hear details about them.

Baverman also set these tentative conditions if he does grant bond: Harris must post a $2 million cash bond plus the equity in all properties he owns. He must be locked down in his house 24/7; have an electronic monitoring device; consent to any searches; be screened for unlawful drug use; remove any safes in the home; and be allowed to live with only his girlfriend and children.

Harris, already a convicted felon, was arrested Saturday on weapons charges in a sting at a Midtown parking lot, where he allegedly sought to buy machine guns. The arrest kept him from appearing as planned at the BET Awards show that night.

Prosecutors oppose bond for Harris, although assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Alley told Baverman it is a “close call” as to whether the conditions were acceptable.

Alley recounted a litany of arrests, convictions and missed court dates by Harris from 1997 through the end of 2003. These include firearms and drug violations as well as Harris giving authorities false names at the time of his arrest.

Alley noted that during a search of Harris’s home in 2003, local authorities and federal agents found a firearm, a silencer and a bulletproof vest in Harris’s master bedroom. One of Harris’s lawyers, Dwight Thomas, later noted that this case had been dismissed.

Also at Friday’s hearing, Alley revealed that Harris had up to a half-pound of marijuana in his vehicle when arrested last Saturday. At this arrest, agents also found three handguns, at least one of them loaded, inside Harris’s vehicle, Alley said.

“He told agents the marijuana was his and he had smoked marijuana that day to get ready for the BET Awards show,” Alley said.

Baverman said he was distressed to learn that Harris told a pre-trial services officer in an interview a few days later that he had not smoked marijuana in more than a year.

Baverman said he was impressed with information provided by Harris’s lawyers that showed the rapper has been “exceptionally generous and has reached out to the community, particularly the community of the underprivileged, with great generosity.”

On the other hand, Baverman added, “on the day that is probably the most important of his professional career he shows up armed at a gun deal to buy machine guns and silencers. I’m really, really concerned about that sort of dichotomy.”

As Baverman outlined his concerns, Harris, wearing a black suit and white shirt, sat expressionless with his eyes on the judge. When members of Harris’s family were asked to stand up in the packed courtroom, about 50 people rose to their feet.

Baverman called Harris “an exceptionally gifted and talented musician” and noted that many people in his position would not do as much for the community, including local students.

“He should be commended for that,” Baverman said. “But I would be blind not to recogize some of the lyrics in some of the songs that stand in contrast to the message he gives to schoolchildren.”

Baverman, a former defense attorney, found that the prosecutors had not met their burden of convincing him that no possible conditions could be place on Harris to assure he would not be a flight risk or danger to others. For this reason, the judge said, he is willing to consider the extraordinary conditions proposed by Harris’s legal team.

But Baverman said he found Harris’s past conduct “exceptionally troublesome” and he said he considered the strength of the government’s case against Harris to be “significant.”

This article was obtained from AtlantaJournalConstitution 

2 Responses to “T.I. will stay in jail!”

  1. The XFacta said

    You pay the price when you break the law and you’re a convicted felon

  2. ANIAYAH said

    I BELIEVE THAT HE IS INNOCENT. THAT BODY GUARD IS GOING TO GET IT BECAUSE I KNOW HIS MOTHER AND HIS BROTHERS.

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