Try as he might, DMX just couldn't stay out of jail.
A federal judge in Buffalo, New York, denied the rapper's final appeal Thursday to either trim or outright dismiss his 15-day jail sentence for pot possession and a minor traffic violation. The judge then ordered DMX into a lockup by Friday.
But whether the trouble-prone Ruff Rider will surrender to authorities Friday to begin his long-delayed slammer time is another story.
'We're not expecting him to show. I don't know when or even if he'll show up,' says a court clerk.
The Yonkers-based DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was pulled over following a March 3 concert in Buffalo for failing to signal and speeding. Police said he was driving without a license and a search turned up a small amount of marijuana.
DMX plead guilty to a reduced charge of driving without a license, but Justice Ronald E. Kmiotek slapped the rapper with the maximum sentence allowable under the law--15 days in jail and a $400 fine.
The rapper's attorney, Mark Mahoney, appealed the sentence, arguing it was biased and overly severe because his client is black and also a major star in the hip-hop world. He asked the New York State Supreme Court to review the case and issue a stay, which would have kept the rapper out of jail.
But last month, State Supreme Court Justice Joseph P. McCarthy denied the appeal, ruling a defendant waives his right to appeal a conviction once he pleads guilty to a charge.
Mahoney made a last-ditch appeal to U.S. District Court Judge Richard Arcana, asserting that Kmiotek was prejudiced by 'the racial subculture that Mr. Simmons represents.' However, Arcana said there was no trace of bias and he upheld the lower courts' decision, ordering the rapper to start his jail term Friday.
And that represents a major dilemma for DMX.
Mahoney says the rapper is currently in California working on a video project and probably won't return to Western New York until the project's completed, most likely on Monday.
But Erie County Assistant District Attorney John J. Franks (who was incredulous that a minor traffic violation went all the way to federal court) says if DMX doesn't show by the end of the business day Friday, the judge will issue a bench warrant for the rapper's arrest.
And if the rapper does turn up, he'll miss this year's Grammy Awards, where he's up for best rap album for ...And Then There Was X and best rap solo performance for his hit single 'Party Up.'
Either way, DMX would appear to be SOL.
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