ODB In Court For Threatening To Kill Ex-Girlfriend

Wu-Tang Clan rapper set to answer felony charge stemming from Nov. 5 incident.

LOS ANGELES -- Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard has been formally charged with a felony count of making a terrorist threat against his ex-girlfriend, according to Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

ODB, who was arrested in early November after allegedly threatening to kill the mother of his child, is scheduled to appear in the Compton Lynwood Municipal Court on Tuesday (Dec. 1) to answer the charge. The felony charge was filed officially Nov. 24.

The felony charge, which carries a penalty of up to three years in prison, is the fourth such charge against the 29-year-old ODB (born Russell Tyrone Jones) in the past few months.

The notorious rapper also faces three other felony counts of making terrorist threats stemming from a separate arrest Sept. 17. In that incident, he allegedly threatened to kill security guards at the West Hollywood, Calif., House of Blues nightclub after being ejected from the club for raucous behavior.

"[ODB] faces a maximum of five years if convicted on all four felony counts," said Ellen Aragon, Beverly Hills, Calif., deputy district attorney.

The incident involving ODB's girlfriend allegedly occurred Nov. 5. The rapper was arrested that day in Carson, Calif., after police said he called the mother of his 1-year-old child and allegedly told her he was coming to her workplace to kill her. Responding to a call about the alleged threat, police said they discovered ODB attempting to scale the security wall at the site.

ODB was not carrying any weapons at the time of his arrest, according to police. He spent the night in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility and was released the next day on $500,000 bail.

In the separate House of Blues case, the next court date is scheduled for Dec. 21 in Beverly Hills, at which time a report detailing ODB's full criminal history will be presented to the court. Witnesses in the alleged incident, including the club security guards whom ODB allegedly threatened as well, are expected to take the stand on that date.

Also to be considered at the Dec. 21 court date is a separate charge for driving without a license. ODB picked up that charge in October, just hours after clearing his name in a similar case in which he convinced a judge he had been mistaken for fellow Wu-Tang Clan member RZA.

Meanwhile, ODB remains a wanted man in Virginia after failing to appear on charges that he shoplifted a $50 pair of tennis shoes July 4.

Kevin Ross, the Beverly Hills district attorney handling the House of Blues case, said that the four terrorist threat charges in California may be merged and tried as one case, along with the case involving driving without a license.

Ross could not be reached for comment Monday (Nov. 30) on the status of that possible merging of cases. Gibbons said that joining the cases is contingent on agreement between the prosecutors in the separate felony cases.

"If they feel that it's better to put everything in one case, then they'll do so and file an amended complaint," she said.

The nine-member Wu-Tang Clan are considered to be among the most revolutionary rap outfits of the '90s. With their murky and menacing mix of hardcore beats, piano and minimal samples, the Clan's dark, orchestral sound has fueled such hit singles as "C.R.E.A.M." (RealAudio excerpt).

ODB released his solo debut, Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, in 1995, scoring such hits as "Brooklyn Zoo" and "Shimmy Shimmy Ya." He currently is working on his second solo album, which he said will include a collaboration with pop queen Madonna.