Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rapper Jim Jones Turns Down Plea Offer

Rapper Jim Jones Turns Down Plea Offer Updated 4 hrs ago

Rapper Jim Jones in Court to Face Traffic Charge, Turns Down Plea OfferJim Jones outside Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday. (DNAinfo/Shayna Jacobs)

By Shayna Jacobs

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN CRIMINAL COURT — Harlem rapper Jim Jones turned down a plea deal offered after he was charged with driving with a suspended license in SoHo last month.

During a brief court appearance on Tuesday, an attorney for Jones said the charge was a result of a Department of Motor Vehicles mix-up, and that the rapper was not even aware that his licence had been suspended. 

He declined an offer to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay a $500 fine.

His attorney, Marianne Bertuna, said she believed he would be allowed to plead guilty to a violation, a non-crime akin to a traffic offense, when he straightens out the situation with the DMV. She did not know why his license was suspended. 

The performer was stopped in a 2011 Bentley on Broadway near Prince Street on March 30, where he was given a desk appearance ticket and ordered to appear in court on April 26.

Jones, who talked to reporters and took photos with fans who were enjoying the weather outside the courthouse, joked that he did not understand why he turned down the offer — which would have let him off the hook with nothing more than the fine payment. 

"I have no idea what's on — that's what I pay lawyers for," he said, while exiting the 100 Centre Street courthouse.

It was not Jones' first trip to Manhattan Criminal Court. He pleaded guilty to an assault charge on Dec. 7 and agreed to undergo anger management after admitted to attacking the driver of car he had crashed into uptown. 

The artist, originally part of the Diplomats, seemed less than thrilled to be back in court faced with yet another charge. 

"I'm trying to stay away from this place. I dont' want to be down here," he said.

He is expected to return to court on June 15. 

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