The twisted saga of DMX's legal woes continues to get more bizarre and impossible to follow as the days go on. But even as multiple law-enforcement jurisdictions across the country vie to get the first shot at the rapper (born Earl Simmons), one thing seems certain: The next few months, and possibly years, of DMX's life will likely find him either sitting in a cell or putting in hard time to get his once-multiplatinum career and chaotic personal life back on track.
The rapper missed another court date on Tuesday (August 19) in Arizona, where attorney Charles Kozelka, the public defender appointed to try his multiple drug and animal-cruelty cases, heard some bad news from the trial judge. Unlike last week, when DMX did not show up to court because of a reported hospitalization, this time he was absent because he is being held in a Miami jail cell following his arrest last Thursday, Kozelka told MTV News.
That arrest was a result of a felony fugitive warrant put out by Arizona authorities following DMX's failure to appear in court last Tuesday to face a marijuana-possession charge from earlier this year. Officials in Miami nabbed X outside a Wal-Mart when they spotted him sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle that had no license plates and was parked in a handicap spot. A routine check revealed the outstanding warrant.
Because it was a felony fugitive of justice warrant, a spokesperson for the Miami-Dade Police Department said his jurisdiction is not allowed to offer DMX bond. That means the rapper will either sit in jail until October 2, when he will face drug charges in Miami for an arrest in June, or be extradited to Arizona, where he will go in front of Judge Michael Kemp on charges that could land him in prison for five years.
"At this point, no one is taking responsibility for which law is holding him there," Kozelka said, adding that he has had a hard time getting Florida and Arizona law-enforcement officials to explain to him which state's laws are keeping X locked up. "Now I understand that there's a Florida law on fugitives that allows them to give no bond, and the Florida judge said he won't give bond unless the prosecutor here [in Arizona] says it's OK, which is not happening."
Captain Paul Chagolla of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said he "certainly" plans to try to extradite DMX to Arizona, but at press time he was not sure when that would happen. "He will sit in jail until he adjudicates the charges there [in Miami], and then we'll pick him up," he said, adding that it's also possible X will be brought back to Arizona first, if the process of trying him in Miami stretches out and causes further delays in the timetable for the Arizona cases.
"I went to the judge with a compromise solution where he could set aside the [fugitive of justice] warrant from last week, and I asked for one week so we can get the ball rolling and get his [Arizona] cases back on track," Kozelka said. "The judge said the bond was reasonable, and if Florida holds him, they hold him. I can tell you one thing: I've never seen this process before on a marijuana case."