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No Show At Court - 10/8/98
Already a fugitive of justice in Virginia, Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard is now a wanted man in California as well.

The 29-year-old rapper was a no-show in Beverly Hills Municipal Court on Thursday (Oct. 8), where he was due to answer charges on three felony counts of making terrorist threats at the House of Blues.

Judge Judith O. Stein issued a bench warrant for the rapper's arrest and set bail at $100,000 after ODB failed to appear at the appointed time that morning.

Stein said she would withdraw the warrant, however, if ODB appears in court by 4 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 8). There is no record of ODB having a lawyer, according to the court clerk.

The charges stem from ODB's arrest Sept. 16 outside the House of Blues nightclub on the Sunset Strip. According to West Hollywood police, the rapper was attending a concert by R&B singer Des'ree and caused a commotion inside the club.

When he was taken out by security and told that he would not be allowed back into the venue, ODB allegedly began "uttering threats at the establishment and the security guards," according to Lt. Dave Long, who said the characteristically impetuous rapper then threatened to "come back with his homies or his clan to kill them."

In filing the charges as felonies Wednesday, the Beverly Hills district attorney chose the more serious of the two categories in which a terrorist-threat charge may fall, according to Beverly Hills Deputy District Attorney Ellen Aragon. The other option was to file the charges as misdemeanors.

If convicted on all three felony charges, the beleaguered ODB faces a maximum of four years and four months in jail, depending on whether the judge considers the charges separately or together.

ODB has previously skipped three court hearings in Virginia on shoplifting charges, for which three separate warrants have been issued for his arrest.

Following his first-ever solo tour with his crew D.R.U.G.S. (Dirty Rotten Underground Crew) this past summer, ODB recently went to work on the follow-up to Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, his solo debut that was a brew of hardcore lyrics and funk-inspired hip-hop. The new release is tentatively titled Dirty World.

ODB has been a fugitive in Virginia since August, when a judge in Virginia Beach issued three warrants for his arrest on contempt-of-court charges after the rapper failed to appear three times for hearings on the shoplifting charges. ODB is accused of stealing a $50 pair of Nike sneakers in July. Each of the contempt charges, plus the original shoplifting charge, carries a maximum fine of $2,500 and/or a year in prison.

Only days before the alleged shoplifting incident, ODB was the victim of what police say was a robbery and shooting at a relative's house in Brooklyn, N.Y. Police have yet to make an arrest in that case.

In addition, the rapper reported to police that his auto, a Range Rover, was stolen from in front of a Manhattan recording studio.

Despite his failure to appear in court on the shoplifting charge, ODB has appeared in court on several occasions to address since-resolved charges of nonpayment of child support.

This past week, staff at the Four Seasons Hotel in Berlin reported that ODB apologized and paid for damages resulting from his alleged boisterous behavior during his stay at the hotel.

Copyright 2002, The Original Free ODB Coalition