DMX's lawyer had until 4 p.m. Tuesday to explain to a Phoenix court why his client missed a date with justice for the second time in a drug-possession case. After that, a warrant would be issued for X's (real name Earl Simmons) arrest.
Public defender Charles Kozelka told MTV News on Wednesday (August 13) that he did make it to court before the deadline and provided Commissioner Phemonia Miller with documentation that the rapper was unable to appear because he had checked into a Miami hospital on Tuesday morning.
"We provided intake documentation, and the judge said it was insufficient," Kozelka said. "The judge said he should have informed the court sooner, and because it was the second time he'd missed court in this case, she issued the warrant."
Kozelka would not say why DMX was hospitalized, nor would he comment on reports that the MC was in a rehabilitation facility. He said that X's team is "working towards getting him some help, and we hope that will be taken seriously by all parties in this case," including the court and DMX himself, who is "serious" about getting help with his substance abuse issues. The Yonkers, New York-bred rapper has a home in Arizona, but Kozelka said he also frequently spends time in Miami, where X was arrested twice in June, for driving without a valid driver's license and attempting to buy cocaine and marijuana from undercover police. The rapper was legally allowed to be out of state, but was required to show up for court.
Another wrinkle in X's latest legal snafu revolves around the question of why a world-famous rapper who has sold millions of albums would be assigned a public defender for his multiple court cases in Arizona. Public defenders are typically assigned to clients who cannot afford private counsel. A townhouse owned by the rapper reportedly went to a sheriff's auction in New York on Wednesday, though it's unclear if that is another sign that he might be having financial problems.
Kozelka would only say that X had "some problems" with the private counsel that was representing him before, so the court appointed a public defender to take over the case. "He qualified for us, and he feels comfortable with me," Kozelka said.
Kozelka said he's working on getting his client back to Arizona to take care of the warrant, though he could not guarantee that the issue would be resolved without X being arrested again. "We have to work out an arrangement that will work with the courts," he said of getting DMX to Arizona and possibly enrolled in a rehab program.
"Obviously, it's not working now," he said. "We are in court again next week on other matters, and my hope is we can get the warrant resolved by then and get back on track. We have some things in the works to get the warrant taken care of. My hope is that we can resolve it without an arrest, but he's been arrested at the airport before, so they obviously have an eye out for him, so I'm not sure."
In addition to the warrant, Miller raised the rapper's bond in the case to $25,000 as a penalty for his failure to show.