T.I. used influence to minimize sentence

April 13, 2008 at 1:08 PM

ATLANTA, April 13 (UPI) -- Rapper T.I. minimized his prison sentence for his felony gun charges conviction by capitalizing on his influence on U.S. teenagers, a U.S. attorney says.

U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said the "King" singer convinced prosecutors he could use his popularity to prevent future crimes and therefore only received a sentence of one year and a day in prison as part of his guilty plea, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Sunday.

"Being a star isn't a reason to be targeted or a reason for a lower sentence. If you help convict others, you get a lower sentence," Nahmias said. "What he proposed was to go out and help prevent crime. If he's able to prevent a crime, that's something you should get a reduced sentence for."

In comparison, T.I. cohort James Harold Ingram received two years in prison for his role in the illegal weapons possession case.

The newspaper said if T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., fails to meet the specific conditions of his sentence, he could be sentenced to nearly six years in prison.

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