Wearing a gray sweat suit, sunglasses and a somber look on his face, the 35-year-old MC (born Jeffrey Atkins) stood before a magistrate on the 13th floor of the criminal courts building in lower Manhattan and listened as he was formally sentenced to two years in prison in the wake of his guilty plea in December to attempted criminal possession of a weapon. He was accompanied by his wife, associate Ron Robinson, lawyer Stacey Richman and various other family members as the sentence was read.
Moments after he was cuffed and led out of the courtroom, Rule shouted, "See y'all" to his family in the back of the courtroom. "We love you," they called back, as some burst into tears and Rule replied, "I love y'all too," before being escorted to detention.
Rule will spend up to two weeks at New York's Rikers Island jail before being transferred to a different correctional facility upstate. Rule's lawyer said she expected that with good behavior, the MC could be out in 18 to 20 months. The rapper is being jailed in connection with an arrest in July 2007 in which the Manhattan district attorney's office claimed police found a loaded semi-automatic .40-caliber Taurus handgun, with the serial number scratched off, hidden in the backseat of the MC's Maybach.
The arrest took place on the same night that Lil Wayne was arrested on a gun charge, which sent the "Lollipop" rapper to jail for eight months last year. (Rule had been among the featured special guests at a New York concert headlined by Wayne.)
Last month, Ja Rule sat with Sway on "RapFix Live" and expressed regret over his pending jail sentence. According to Rule, he feels as if he has let his wife and kids down.
"I'm disappointed," the multiplatinum rapper said. "I'm mad at myself." Rule spoke specifically about his 15-year-old daughter, Brittany, but expressed concern about his two sons as well. "My daughter, she's 15 right now," Rule explained. "These are her last couple of years. She's about to graduate from high school and she's going to college. She needs her father. My boys really need me right now, too, as well as my wife. They need Daddy, and Daddy f---ed up."