T.I. Pleads Not Guilty, Judge Considers House Arrest

 ImageDespite prosecutors' vehement efforts to keep the rapper caged, T.I. is close to house arrest and being allowed to go home pending Judge Allen Baverman's review of the bond package.


The Southern emcee (born Clifford Harris, Jr.) was arrested last weekend in a sting where feds claim he tried to purchase machine guns and silencers.

The rapper - who was dressed in all black and bound in ankle shackles - had a team of high-powered attorneys backing him in court. Legal bigwigs Ed Garland along with long-time partner Don Samuel joined Steve Sadow and Dwight Thomas in defending the self-proclaimed King of the South.

And today, artists, industry heads, family and friends packed the courtroom in support of the king, including Young Jeezy

T.I.'s legal team offered $2.2 million in cash, plus $1.5 million in equity in property that he owns. In addition, Kevin Lyles, president of Warner Bros. Music Group and Lyor Cohen, president of Atlantic Records each offered up $100,000 of their own money.

Though Braveman said the additional funds weren't necessary, he would not release T.I. today until a few conditions were met. Braveman also expressed concern over T.I.'s lyrics but said he was impressed by his community involvement.

By the judge's order, T.I. must wear an electronic monitoring device and a security company needs to be contracted in connection with that device; the only two adults who will be regularly allowed on the property are the rapper's long-time, live-in girlfriend and mother of one of his children, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle and a federal agent. All other visitors must be placed on a pre-authorized list to be approved by the court. Also, before the rapper can move back in, a full sweep of his house must be done in search of a hidden safe and any contraband that may be on the premises.

Getting T.I. out of jail and under house arrest was reportedly a long shot. Prosecutors wanted to keep him in jail until his trial which could be months from now and the rapper was fighting an uphill battle, given his previous cocaine dealing conviction. But T.I.'s dream team isn't deterred by long shots.

Garland made headlines in the infamous Ray Lewis case. The NFL star walked on a murder charge in 2000, pleading to a misdemeanor instead.

Garland and Samuel defended millionaire investor James Sullivan, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole, in the 1987 murder-for-hire of his wife, Lita.

Thomas got an acquittal for retired Atlanta police officer, Reginald Burney in a case accusing the ex-cop of accepting expensive dinners and drinks at the high profile Atlanta strip club, the Gold Club, in exchange for giving managers the heads up on permit inspections.

In that same case, Sadow represented the gentlemen's club's former owner, Steve Kaplan. The alleged associate of the Gambino crime family pleaded guilty for a reduced sentence.

T.I. will have a second bond hearing on Friday (October 26) at 3 p.m., and if the judge's orders have been followed, he'll be released on house arrest.

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