Ja Rule faces prison after deal
Ja Rule has agreed to go to prison for two years in a gun case, becoming the second platinum-selling rapper set to do time after arrests in the aftermath of a star-studded hip-hop concert in July 2007.
The US rapper-actor - whose gravelly voice, thuggish tough talk and duets with R&B divas made him one of rap's stars in the early 2000s - pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon.
Superstar Lil Wayne was arrested separately the same night and later pleaded guilty to the same charge.
Speaking in a low voice, Ja Rule said nothing beyond "guilty" and "yes" to a Manhattan judge's questions as he admitted to a charge that involved attempting to have a loaded gun outside one's home or workplace. Police said they found a loaded .40-calibre semi-automatic gun in a rear door of his car after it was stopped for speeding.
His plea deal promises the 34-year-old rapper a two-year prison term compared to the 15-year stint he could have faced if convicted of the original gun charges. He remains free until his sentencing.
"This isn't a good day," Ja Rule said as he headed to a waiting vehicle, waving to some fans who recognised him behind his dark sunglasses. His lawyer, Stacey Richman, declined to comment.
He's due in court on February 9 to set a date for his sentencing.
"Because of your guilty plea here today, you'll have a record of having committed a violent felony. This is a very serious matter," Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers told him.