Rapper TI along with attorneys Don Samuel (rear) and Ed Garland (driver)
leaving Federal Court after his sentencing
As his family and employees tried to get a seat in the courtroom many were left outside waiting for rapper TI’s hearing to come to a conclusion. HHE’s Dennis Byron was there to bring blow by blow of the legal fight between the government and his defense team.
United States Attorney Sally Yates during press conference
outside Richard Russell building (Prince Williams/Getty)
Today’s probation revocation hearing for Clifford Harris was hard fought by his legal team to keep the troubled rapper and admitted substance abuser out of prison fell on deaf ears with US Judge Charles J Pannell.
Even when TI made a passionate plea to Judge Pannell for leniency it had very little affect:
“I screwed up,” said Harris, wearing a three-piece gray suit. “I screwed up big time, 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.”
United States Attorney Sally Yates talks with
Hip Hop Enquirer’s Dennis Byron
Defense Attorney Dwight Thomas Talks with Hip Hop Enquirer’s
Dennis Byron about Judge’s decision
For many there are still more questions then answers involving rapper TI’s role in the rescue attempt of an alleged suicide victim in Atlanta. Why did the Atlanta Police Department risk the suicide victim’s life by allowing an unqualified civilian to help talk him off of a 22 story building? Was this text book procedures for the police department? Or was this simply a poorly planned out hoax? Investigative reporter Dennis Byron looks into these questions and talks to officer Polite:
Atlanta Police Department spokesperson James Polite talks with
Legal Team Fighting a Losing Battle
Clifford Harris legal team approached the judge systematically to give their explanation why he should not be sent to prison.
Attorney Don Samuel told the court that he reviewed a total of 247 simple probation violations that were similar to rapper TI’s case and he couldn’t find any where the defendant was sent to prison however the judge was not moved by his statistics. Then attorney Steve Sadow argued to the judge that Mr. Harris suffers from a drug addiction however no provision was made earlier for him to get treatment thus he should not be sent to prison. The government countered his argument by stating that he had failed several urine tests and several of the tests results came back with diluted implying that they were possibly watered down.
Attorney Ed Garland also mention that rapper TI had seven root canals and three teeth extracted early this year; that is why he was in legal possession of the Oxycodone during his arrest however Garland admitted that TI told him that he and his wife were using ecstasy together.
Atlanta Police Officer Polite was then called to the witness stand to talk about how TI’s heroic efforts help save a man’s life. “Your honor, I don’t believe it was a stunt” stated Polite.
Judge Pannell Sends a Powerful Message to TI
“The worst thing is this case was an experiment,” Pannell said. But then Pannell looked at Harris and said: “You certainly dumped a lot of smut on the whole experiment.”
Although the government requested 24 month sentence for TI, Judge Pannell decided on a 11 month sentence and gave the troubled rapper two weeks to surrender to US Department of Prisons.
Judge Pannell reminded Harris that he would be on an additional year of probation once he was freed from prison and that for that year he is not to drive a motor vehicle. Because TI had accepted the plea back in March of 2009, he is not eligible to appeal the judge’s sentence. We asked US Attorney Yates whether it was common for a person whose probation was revoked for them to remain free without a bond and to that she replied that TI was not a flight risk.
Shouts out to all the media outlets that gave proper credit for their source of information. Especially Atlanta radio station 107.9, V103 as well as Creative Loafing.
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