50 Cent avoided a jail sentence on Friday, taking a plea deal on charges stemming from an incident at a May 2004 concert in which the rapper allegedly jumped into the crowd after being hit with a water bottle. Three counts of assault and battery would be cleared from the Queens-bred MC’s arrest record if he abides by the conditions of a two-year probationary term.
50 Cent (whose real name is Curtis Jackson), entered a plea before Springfield District Court Judge Robert Kumor, conceding that the state had enough evidence to convict him, according to The Associated Press. Jackson pleaded not guilty in early November 2004 to assault-and-battery charges related to an alleged altercation at a concert earlier that year (see “50 Cent Pleads Not Guilty In Water-Bottle Incident” ).
The alleged incident occurred at an invite-only concert at the Hippodrome nightclub in Springfield, Massachusetts, on May 10, 2004. 50 Cent, who was not expected to perform, took the stage and was allegedly hit in the head by a water bottle thrown from the crowd (see “50 Cent Performance Cut Short After Fan Throws Water At Him” ). The rapper leapt into the crowd after the fan, leading to a brawl in which three women were reportedly injured; two claimed they were kicked in the head and face, and one accused Jackson of punching her in the face.
Kumor outlined several conditions Jackson must adhere to in order for the charges to be wiped from his record. 50 Cent, who appeared in a gray double-breasted suit and silver tie, was ordered to stay off of drugs for two years and will undergo random drug screenings during that time to ensure he stays clean.
The rapper will have to attend anger-management counseling and produce an educational anti-violence public service announcement. He was also banned from carrying a gun in Massachusetts. The judge additionally ordered Jackson to pay $3,000 in court costs and make restitution to the victims for their out-of-pocket medical expenses.
If Jackson violates any of the conditions of his probation, a judge could sentence him to two-and-a-half years in jail for each of the three assault-and-battery charges.
Jackson’s alleged victims had asked the court to severely punish the rapper. Assistant District Attorney Donna Donato had recommended a two-year sentence, with one year to be served and the second suspended with probation and other conditions.