Beanie Sigel gets more prison time

January 9, 2008 1:02:17 PM PST
Rap star Beanie Sigel was briefly jailed Wednesday and ordered to live in a halfway house for six months after a second probation violation, just weeks before his federal probation was to have ended. A judge found that Sigel took an unauthorized trip to Atlantic City, N.J., and had contact with a convicted felon.

U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick ordered Sigel to spend a day in prison and extended his probation by 18 months, including the halfway house stint.

During those six months, Sigel can pursue his work in Philadelphia by day but cannot travel to promote his latest album, "The Solution."

The 33-year-old rapper (real name: Dwight Grant) has had a string of legal problems in recent years but insists he is a changed man.

"I'm human, but I'm working on my mistakes," he told Surrick. "I do believe that other people do get a chance to go back into society and do the work that they do."

In recent months, Sigel has led an anti-violence march with Philadelphia native Bill Cosby, spoken at several city high schools about making good life choices and filmed a public-service announcement aimed at young people.

Surrick acknowledged the positive contributions but said Sigel's actions must have consequences.

"If they're looking at you as a role model, you've got to do the right thing," Surrick said.

The judge could have sent Sigel back to prison for three to nine months.

Sigel spent a year in federal prison on a gun charge, then was acquitted of attempted murder in September 2005, a month after being released. He was briefly jailed in late 2005 for failing to pay $27,000 in child support. The following year, he told police he was shot by men who surrounded him and stole his cash and jewelry.

In 2007, Surrick extended Sigel's supervised release because of his contact with a felon.

Sigel, who has been allowed to travel for work during his probation, admitted he did not seek permission for the Atlantic City trip.

But he denied being with the felon on Dec. 3, saying he was at a studio giving media interviews. A probation officer testified Wednesday that he saw the pair together at the home of Sigel's mother.

Sigel's albums include "The Truth," "The Reason," "The B. Coming" and "The Solution." He also starred in the movie "State Property" and its sequel.