Ja Rule To Serve Two Years For Gun Charge
It's a guilty verdict and a two-year prison stint for platinum-selling rapper Jeffrey Atkins, known to fans as Ja Rule, 35, who pleaded guilty in December to charges of attempted criminal possession of a weapon.
The Grammy-nominated artist was carrying an unregistered, loaded .40 caliber pistol in the back seat of his Maybach when he was pulled over by New York State police for speeding after a concert in July 2007. He was taken into custody and released the next day on $150,000 bail.
Lawyer Stacey Richman, who represented Ja Rule, was appalled at the sentence, arguing that his client posed no threat to society. "He's a phenomenal father, he's what we want in our communities," Richman said, according to New York's Daily News. District Attorney Cyrus Vance, however, was eager to disagree. "Carrying an illegal gun in New York City puts the safety of all New Yorkers at risk," he countered.
For his own part, Ja Rule was silent, merely shaking his head when the Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers asked if he wanted to address the court. "See y'all later," he said to his wife and mother after the sentence came down and he was taken into custody.
With time off for good behavior, it's possible that Ja Rule could shave four to six months off his sentence. However, he could find himself facing federal prison time down the line for different charges. This spring he pleaded guilty to federal tax fraud, admitting he didn't pay income taxes between 2004 and 2006. He could face up to three years and $100,000 in fines at sentencing, which is scheduled for later this summer.