December 31, 2008

DMX Cuts a Deal on Dog, Drug, Theft Charges

Perhaps DMX has seen the error of his ways and is looking to make a fresh start in 2009.

Just in time to make New Year's resolutions, the oft-arrested rapper has cut a deal in his pending animal cruelty, drug possession and identity theft cases in order to avoid being prosecuted for more than a dozen crimes.

Instead, DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, pleaded guilty Tuesday in a Phoenix court to one count apiece of animal cruelty, theft, marijuana possession and possession of a narcotic, the last three of which are felonies.

Sentencing has been set for Jan. 30 in Maricopa County Superior Court. Additional charges will be dismissed at that time but DMX is facing at least 90 days in jail, according to prosecutors.

"I am pleased that this defendant will be held accountable for both his drug and animal cruelty offenses," said County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

The Great Depression artist had previously pleaded not guilty to mistreating a pack of pit bulls at his Cave Creek, Ariz., home over the past year. He had also maintained that he was innocent of possessing a significant amount of pot and drug paraphernalia, which authorities claimed to have discovered during two raids on the rapper's property in connection with the animal-cruelty allegations.

DMX had also been accused of trying to avoid paying a $7,500 hospital bill in April by giving a false name and contact info to officials at a Scottsdale clinic. He was subsequently busted on suspicion of identity theft in July.

An attorney for the Cradle 2 the Grave star, who also had a coke- and pot-related run-in with the law in Florida in June, said earlier this month that his client had checked into rehab.

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