Though Beanie Sigel was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison on Friday in Philadelphia, it was a minor victory for the Roc-A-Fella rapper.
Sigel, whose real name is Dwight Grant, could have faced up to three years in prison after pleading guilty to a federal gun charge in April (see “Beanie Sigel To Plead Guilty, Face Jail Time On Gun Charges” ). But Sigel’s defense attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr., argued against the strength of the evidence and succeeded in getting the judge to reduce the sentence suggested by federal guidelines.
Sigel was also allowed to surrender for his prison term within 30 days. After his sentence, he will spend two years on supervised probation.
Jay-Z, Damon Dash, Freeway and other members of the Roc-A-Fella crew showed up at the James A. Byrne U.S. Federal District Courthouse in downtown Philadelphia to support Sigel. The judge also heard testimony from Sigel’s mother and fiancée.
Knowing that he would most likely be spending time behind bars, Sigel devoted the last five days to shooting five music videos in the company of his family and friends, including rappers Freeway and Method Man.
Sigel told MTV News on the set of those videos Thursday that he was resigned to his fate. “I’m prepared for it mentally, that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing,” he said. “I ain’t stressin’. I ain’t laying back in the house, you know, laying back, eatin’ all crazy, goin’ through it. I’m good. I know what the situation is. I know what the outcome could be. I’m really prepared for whatever happens.”
Friday’s sentencing ends one chapter of Sigel’s legal woes. In January he’s supposed to face trial for attempted murder stemming from a July 2003 incident outside a Philadelphia bar. The case is being retried after the first trial ended in a hung jury in April (see “Beanie Sigel’s Attempted-Murder Trial Ends In Hung Jury” ). There is a pending trial date, too, for an assault charge in which Sigel is accused of punching a 53-year-old man in the face in January 2003.