Prosecutors Still Want Jail Time For Eminem

By | February 14, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Prosecutors in Macomb County have offered to drop one of two felony charges against Eminem, but they still want jail time for the Grammy-nominated rapper.

One of Eminem’s lawyers said Tuesday (February 13) that chances are “at least 50-50” that the controversial hip-hop artist may accept the proposed plea bargain when both sides appear in court Wednesday afternoon.

But accepting the plea agreement won’t automatically mean Eminem, 28, will land behind bars soon – or at all. Any sentence would be up to Macomb County Circuit Court Visiting Judge Antonio Viviano.

Eminem, known to the legal system by his born name, Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is charged with pistol-whipping a man he allegedly saw his wife kissing outside a Warren, Michigan, bar June 4. Officials have offered to drop one count of assault with a dangerous weapon – a four-year felony – if Eminem pleads guilty to the more serious charge of carrying a concealed weapon, a five-year offense.

If Eminem accepts the offer, the matter would then go to probation officials for a pre-sentence report. Under state sentencing guidelines, and based on the fact he had no prior criminal record, the nation’s hottest rapper could face a sentence ranging from probation to 17 months in jail. Marlinga refused to specify what jail term he would seek, saying only that his office would request something in the “mid point” of that range.

If Eminem accepts the prosecutor’s offer Wednesday, he would be sentenced in approximately six weeks. If he doesn’t like the pre-sentence recommendation by probation officials, he still could withdraw his plea, and the case would go to trial in six or seven months.

Clearly, his lawyers will chose the path they think will keep him out of jail – and free to tour and make more records. His latest CD, The Marshall Mathers LP, has sold 7.9 million copies in the United States and is nominated for the Grammy for Album of the Year.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Oakland County, Eminem awaits trial for an incident that occurred just hours before the alleged altercation in Warren. He is accused of carrying a concealed weapon and brandishing a firearm in public, during a confrontation with a backup member of Insane Clown Posse outside a Royal Oak, Michigan, car stereo shop June 3.

Prosecutors in that county have said they would not recommend time behind bars.

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