Eminem's Mom Torn Over Carjacker Sentence

By | April 14, 2004 at 12:00 AM

Eminem’s mother wants to see a 16-year-old punished for carjacking and robbing her, but she’s also distressed to think he could spend the next decade or more in prison.

Debbie Nelson said she’s struggling to get over the Jan. 22 gas station robbery on Eight Mile Road, a strip that divides Detroit from its suburbs and was made famous by her son’s movie, “8 Mile.” She said she suffered bruises, a broken foot, neck pain and insomnia.

“This is something that doesn’t just go away overnight,” Nelson, 49, said in an interview Monday.

She said she was in her car, resetting the trip odometer while getting fuel, when her attacker waved a silver revolver in her face, punched her in the head and dragged her and her dog, a lab mix named Itchy, from the car.

James Antonio Knott is scheduled to be sentenced next week and could face 10-18 years in prison on charges of carjacking and armed robbery, said Oakland County prosecutor Margaret Scott.

Knott pleaded guilty and has said through his attorney that he used a BB gun in the robbery, not a handgun. Scott said investigators never recovered a weapon.

Police arrested him after he got stuck in traffic in Nelson’s 2002 Honda Accord about a mile from the gas station. He ran from the car and was caught, Scott said.

Nelson said Monday she hadn’t received the contents of her handbag, which was in the car and contained her cell phone, identification, house keys, pictures of her two sons and more than $3,100 cash.

Nelson’s rocky relationship with her son, whose real name is Marshall Mathers III, has been well-known since the Detroit rapper became a star. He has disparaged her in his music and she has settled two defamation lawsuits over his statements that portrayed her as an unstable drug user.

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