NEW YORK A Westchester County, N.Y., grand jury is considering whether to indict DMX on a charge of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a felony.
The rapper spent Wednesday morning espousing his innocence to the 23-person secret panel, his lawyer, Murray Richman, said.
The charge stems from a car crash Jan. 13 on Interstate 684 in Harrison, N.Y., the District Attorney's Office said.
DMX was driving a sport-utility vehicle northbound at about 7:30 a.m. when he spun off the road. The rapper (born Earl Simmons) was not hurt but was taken by paramedics to St. Agnes Hospital in White Plains. He checked out before police could question him about the accident.
An inspection of the car by officers allegedly produced a 9 mm handgun and a small amount of marijuana.
DMX has said he didn't know the gun was in the car. Police said the vehicle was borrowed from an acquaintance. "He testified truthfully concerning the fact that he had no knowledge that he had the gun ... because it was not his car," Richman said.
DMX was booked six days later on the gun charge, and police filed an unlawful possession of marijuana accusation against him, Richman said. After pleading not guilty in Harrison Town Court, he was released on a $10,000 bond.
If found guilty of the gun charge, DMX could face up to seven years in state prison. The marijuana charge is only a violation similar in seriousness to a traffic ticket and carries a fine.
The case has received little publicity so far, unlike the rapper's previous brushes with the law. The most recent of those was a March 3 incident in Buffalo, N.Y., that led to him being briefly jailed for driving without a license and fined for possessing marijuana. When he turned himself in to police regarding that case, he allegedly was carrying marijuana in a cigarette packet, resulting in another drug possession charge.