Violating Probation - 3/24/00
Judge orders diagnostic examination of troubled rapper to help determine proper punishment. Jailed rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard admitted in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday morning (March 24) that he violated probation by possessing alcohol.
Judge Marsha Revel ordered ODB to undergo a full diagnostic examination before his next court date, June 23, to help her determine a proper punishment for the violation. The maximum sentence the rapper could get is three years and eight months.
Revel sentenced the 31-year-old Wu-Tang Clan MC in November to complete a year in a drug-rehabilitation facility and placed him on three years' probation for wearing body armor and making terrorist threats. The sentence forbade him from using or possessing alcohol and drugs. ODB's attorney, Robert Shapiro, said drug-rehab counselors, therapists and psychiatric professionals will observe his client and "advise what would be best for [ODB]."
Shapiro and ODB's New York attorney, Peter Frankel, discussed the case with Revel and prosecutor Marcia Daniel at the judge's bench for nearly half an hour before the case was called.
Dressed in a blue jail outfit, ODB (born Russell T. Jones) entered the courtroom accompanied by a court bailiff and sat down for the proceedings. The rapper, who in the past has made a spectacle out of himself in court by picking his nose, falling asleep and shouting obscenities, appeared disheveled and distraught but remained calm.
Shapiro said he had hoped Revel would agree during the hearing that ODB should begin receiving treatment immediately. The lawyer said his client is not receiving any rehabilitation or therapy at Los Angeles County Jail.
"I was hoping that he would get what I think he needs — treatment," said, Shapiro, who helped win an acquittal for O.J. Simpson on double-murder charges in 1995. "Maybe that will still happen." Shapiro called the violation "very minor considering his drug addiction."
ODB has been incarcerated since the violation Jan. 20, when he returned to Los Angeles from a New York court date with a bottle of alcohol in his possession; Daniel said it was her understanding that the rapper was intoxicated. The Los Angeles County inmate information office had ODB listed in the jail's drug-rehabilitation center; however, it now appears that ODB went directly to the county jail's main facility.
ODB will remain in jail at least until the next court date. At that point, Revel may place him back on probation or sentence him to a jail or prison term.
"This judge is very reasonable, very open-minded, and very concerned about all the issues involved," said Frankel, who is defending ODB on four pending New York cases, including two involving charges he possessed crack-cocaine. Frankel said ODB "very much wants to continue with his treatment" and described the rapper as "upbeat" about his recovery.
Daniel said it is unlikely that ODB will be allowed to return to the Pasadena, Calif., drug-rehab center Impact House, where he underwent treatment prior to the violation. "The court was not impressed with how they handled him," she said. Impact allowed ODB to travel to Baltimore, for a film taping and to the Jan. 20 court date in Queens, N.Y., without Revel's approval, the prosecutor said.
His New York cases will remain on hold until the Los Angeles case is resolved.
Copyright 2002, The Original Free ODB Coalition