Grammy Award-winning rapper Lil’ Wayne pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted weapon possession today, and expects to receive a one-year jail sentence.
He had previously plead not guilty to illegal gun possession charges that carried at least 3 1/2 years in prison upon conviction.
Police pulled over Lil Wayne’s tour bus in Columbus Circle in Manhattan on July 22, 2007. They said they had seen and smelled marijuana smoke wafting out the door before the bus left a concert venue minutes earlier. Police said that as an officer approached, the rapper tossed away a Louis Vuitton bag containing a gun.
Wayne acknowledged he had a .40 caliber semi-automatic loaded gun on bus. Though prosecutors said small amounts of DNA found on the loaded weapon connected it to the platinum-selling artist, Wayne’s defense lawyer Stacey Richman said the gun wasn’t his, and that the testing technique was too problematic to prove otherwise.
Lil’ Wayne remains free on bail while awaiting his February sentencing.
He’s also scheduled for trial in Arizona on felony drug possession and weapons charges. He has pleaded not guilty in that case, which arose from a January 2008 arrest at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint. The authorities found 105 grams (3.7 ounces) of marijuana, 29 grams (1 ounce) of cocaine, 41 grams (1.45 ounces) of ecstasy and a .40-caliber pistol on his bus.