Celebrity News

T.I. Sentenced, Will Report to Jail in May

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Mar 27, 2009 | 11:22am EDT

Rap superstar T.I. has officially been sentenced to a year and a day behind bars for illegal weapons charges.

The "Whatever You Like" hitmaker -- real name Clifford Harris Jr. -- appeared in an Atlanta court on Friday morning to hear his punishment.

The felony charges relate to his 2007 arrest, when he was caught trying to buy an arsenal of guns from an undercover FBI agent.

His lawyers struck a plea deal with prosecutors last year, which saw the star agree to complete a total of 1,500 hours of community service, pay a $100,000 fine and serve 366 days in jail for the crime.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles Pannell Jr. officially handed T.I. the sentence on Friday, as his longtime girlfriend Tameka 'Tiny' Cottle -- formerly of R&B group Xscape -- and other members of his family and friends looked on.

The rapper has already completed 1,000 hours of community work to date, and the remaining 500 hours are due to be served after his prison time.

Pannell Jr. praised T.I. for turning his life around since his arrest, telling the star he had more than exceeded the court's expectations and hoped his case would inspire others in similar circumstances to follow in his footsteps.

T.I. has been given six to eight weeks to voluntarily report to jail, although the judge acknowledged that he will not actually begin his sentence before May 19 due to prior commitments.

However, T.I. could walk free after serving just 10 months -- if he behaves himself while in prison, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

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