Gucci Mane's Lawyer Explains Jail Sentence

Rapper is on 'a road to recovery,' despite violating his probation, lawyer says.

[artist id="1938028"]Gucci Mane[/artist]'s lawyer Dwight L. Thomas says that during the past four months, his client has been receiving counseling and getting himself off of cocaine, marijuana and alcohol. On Thursday, after violating his probation, Gucci was sentenced to 12 months in jail and is expected to serve half that time. But had it not been for Gucci's recent efforts to change, Thomas said, he might have gone away for a lot longer.

According to Thomas, Gucci's probation for a 2005 aggravated-assault case was revoked because the flamboyant rapper has not completed a court-ordered 600 hours of community service, he's tested positive for marijuana and cocaine during visits to his probation officer, and he has not been getting the proper permission to travel as mandated previously by the judge.

"[Gucci] told the court yesterday he was on a road to recovery in terms of being clean and sober," explained Thomas, who also represented T.I. in his recent gun case. "[He is] alcohol free and weed free. ... He's also dealing with the emotional issue of killing somebody. He's been in counseling and therapy."

In January 2006, murder charges against Gucci Mane in a May 2005 incident were dropped. The rapper was with a female companion in a Decatur, Georgia, apartment when four men invaded the home and attacked Gucci. During the fracas gunshots were fired, and the body of one of the assailants, Henry Lee Clark III, was later found outside a nearby middle school. Gucci admitted to shooting at the men, and it was ruled self defense.

After pleading no contest to aggravated assault for attacking a club promoter in 2005, Gucci was sentenced to six months in jail, followed by probation, drug and alcohol rehabilitation classes, anger management and 100 hours of community service. During a revocation hearing in 2007, it came to light Gucci had not completed his community service and was not going to class or notifying the proper authorities when he was travelling. He was given an addition 400 hours of community service. In September 2008, when Gucci appeared in front of the judge, it was confirmed that he had still barely completed any community service, tested positive for drugs and had been travelling without permission. His probation was revoked, he was given year in jail and 600 more hours of community service. After serving seven months of that sentence, Gucc was released again in March.

Thomas said that since he took Gucci over as client this summer, he has seen a massive improvement in the man whose nickname is LaFlare.

"We were able to put up a case and present to the court that yes, he didn't do what he was supposed to have done, but he was going through emotional issues that obscured his ability to think straight," Thomas said. "He never got therapy for the killing.

"When a soldier kills somebody, we give them therapy. When a police officer kills somebody, he gets therapy. When Gucci killed somebody, he never got therapy, even though it was justified," Thomas further explained. "It was legal, self-defense. He's going to continue to deal with those issues. It's not an easy thing to take a human life and [have] it not bother you or concern you. He had to take a human life, but he did not like the fact he had to."

Thomas also said that like T.I., Gucci is looking forward to doing something positive once he is released.

"He was in good spirits [yesterday]; he's in good spirits today," Thomas said. "He stood up, held his head up and accepted responsibility. He said, 'I'm a totally different man than I was the last time I was in your courtroom.' He was very pleased with the outcome of his case. He knows it could have been a disaster. He appreciates the support from his fans and the people in the music industry."

Thomas plans to petition for Gucci's early release before 2009 is over.

"First of the year, he could be out," Thomas said. "It all depends on his conduct and how he conducts himself while he's there. We're working on other avenues that might entitle him to be released early. If nothing happens at all, he'll do six months. But if we're able to do some of the things we're exploring, we may get this thing down to two months."