LOS ANGELES Coolio pleaded guilty to a gun-possession charge in a Torrance, Calif., courtroom Wednesday (July 7) and was sentenced to serve 10 days in jail and 40 hours of community service.
The jail time and community service are conditions of the two-years' probation the rapper received from Judge Andrew Kauffman in Torrance Superior Court.
The charge stems from the wild-haired MC's arrest last September, in which police said they found an unloaded gun, a separate ammunition cartridge and a small amount of marijuana in his vehicle. The drug charge later was dropped. Police say they stopped the rapper because he was driving his sport utility vehicle on the wrong side of the road.
Coolio pleaded no contest to the charge in March, but changed his plea to not guilty after considering Judge James R. Brandlin's proposed sentence. Brandlin had suggested that Coolio attend an autopsy of a youth killed by gunfire in addition to serving 10 days in jail and performing 40 hours of community service.
"I didn't expect [the] jail time," Coolio said then. "Ten days isn't a long time, but any time in jail is too long."
District Attorney Alexis De La Garza said she did not seek the autopsy requirement for Wednesday's settlement. "We didn't see it as something that had to be done," she said.
The rapper has until Sept. 7 to serve his jail time, according to court clerk Ruth Gilliland.
Coolio's attorney, Steven K. Hauser, did not immediately return calls for comment on his client's decision to plead guilty in the case.
Last month Coolio canceled the remaining dates of his 18-City-Mission tour after a van accident seriously injured two members of his backing band. The entourage was en route to a show at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco when one of the three vans transporting the rapper and his band flipped over about 40 miles north of Sacramento. "This is the first time in my career I have had a near-death experience," Coolio said in a statement. "When the van was flipping over I thought we were history."
Coolio established himself with his 1994 debut LP Like a Thief, featuring such hits as "Fantastic Voyage" (RealAudio excerpt),
and the 1995 triple-platinum follow-up, Gangsta's Paradise, which included "1-2-3-4 (Sumpin' New)" (RealAudio excerpt) and the Grammy-winning title track.
The MC plans to release his fourth album, Dead Man Walkin, later this summer, according to his management.