T.I. is expected to plead guilty on Thursday (March 27) to federal weapons charges, as part of a plea deal that will send the rapper to prison for a year, reports The Associated Press.
Citing two sources familiar with T.I.'s case, the AP says the 27-year-old rapper (born Clifford Harris) would be sentenced to 1,500 hours of community service — which he would serve by talking to youth groups around the U.S. — followed by about 12 months behind bars. The unnamed sources told the wire service that, as of Thursday morning, both sides were still negotiating the terms of the plea bargain.
According to the AP, T.I.'s prison term could be increased or reduced, depending on his fulfillment of the terms of the deal. He could also serve less time for good behavior. The deal reportedly dictates that T.I.'s message to youth groups should focus on the pitfalls of guns, gangs and drugs. The news follows on the heels of the prosecution's announcement that a change-of-plea hearing has been scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell Jr., who has been overseeing the proceedings thus far, will have to sign off on the deal.
T.I. was arrested back in October, mere hours before he was to headline the BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta. The rapper was charged with possession of unregistered machine guns and silencers, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. If he were found guilty without a plea bargain, he would face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. T.I. initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, and has been under house arrest since his release on $3 million bond on October 26. He was allowed to leave his house to attend church services on Easter Sunday.
MTV News will have more on this developing story throughout the day.