Wu-Tang's Ghostface Killah Pleads Guilty To Attempted Robbery

Rapper plans to finish a solo album before completing his four-month sentence.

After spending 27 days in a New York prison stemming from a 1995 robbery

charge, Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah was released on Monday, having

pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of attempted robbery.

The rapper, who was arrested last month on an alleged illegal weapons-possession

charge, now faces five years of probation, along with serving just under three

months of

prison time -- beginning in May -- to complete his four-month sentence.

"Ghost has an album he's going to finish before he goes to jail," said

Jeremy Schneider, Killah's attorney, on Tuesday. The album will be Killah's

second solo effort, following 1996's Ironman.

Although Schneider told Addicted To Noise last month that the

27-year-old rapper, whose real name is Dennis Coles, "didn't do anything

illegal" during a 1995 altercation, Schneider said on Tuesday that the guilty

plea

made sense for Killah. "He was forced with a situation where if he went to

trial and was convicted, he could have gotten a sentence of five to 15 years

in jail," Schneider said.

The charges date back two-and-a-half years to an incident outside New York's

Palladium nightclub. The tires of a car in which Killah had been riding were

slashed while the vehicle was in the care of parking attendants. Arguing

ensued between Killah, his cohorts and the attendants. The rapper pleaded

guilty to taking part in the fight as well as to trying to take money from an

attendant, Schneider said.

Although Killah's reduced jail-sentence does not begin until May, he will

return to court on Jan. 23 for a pre-trial conference related to a Dec. 10

arrest for alleged illegal possession of a .357-caliber Magnum handgun.

That incident, the latest legal hassle to haunt the nine-member, Staten

Island, N.Y.-based Wu-Tang Clan, occurred one week after Killah missed a court date

for the Palladium charges, claiming that he was ill with malaria. Killah's court

absence and later arrest angered Judge Bernard Fried, and prompted Fried to

revoke the rapper's bail in the Palladium case, keeping Killah in jail until the

case went to trial Monday.

Killah has yet to be indicted on the weapons-possession charge.

Schneider also said Tuesday that a discrepancy between Killah's and police

accounts of what occurred during the Dec. 10 arrest may reveal "potentially

serious police misconduct or police error." The district attorney in the

case originally contended that Killah sped away from the scene, while the

rapper maintained that he was taken to a police precinct and released.

Manhattan, N.Y., Assistant District Attorney Jill Aschkenasy later admitted in a

letter to the judge in the case that Killah's account was accurate, according

to Schneider. Schneider is now calling for an investigation by the district

attorney's office into the incident.

On Tuesday, Molly Connell, a public information officer with the district attorney's

office, said only that, "I can neither confirm nor deny that there is any

investigation."

Killah also is one of seven members of the Wu-Tang Clan named by a Loud Records

marketing and promotions manager in a civil complaint. The Loud Records manager

claims that he suffered an alleged battering following the group's performance at the Chicago-area New World Music Theater in Tinley Park, Ill.

The civil suit is still pending and criminal charges have yet to be filed against any member of the rap act. [Tues., Jan. 6, 1998, 6 p.m. PST]