Eminem (a.k.a. Marshall Bruce Mathers III) pleaded guilty to one count of carrying a concealed weapon today, a charge stemming from a June 4, 2000 incident in which he was also charged with striking a man in the head with an unloaded pistol outside a nightclub in Warren, Michigan. By pleading guilty, the rapper avoided a second charge of assault with a dangerous weapon. He now awaits sentencing before Judge Antonio Viviano which will take place in Macomb County Court on April 10th.
According to Macomb County Prosecutor Carl Marlinga, the case has been referred to the court's probation department for a probation report prior to the April sentencing. "The sentence guidelines for this crime, with these facts, score out to zero, which would mean probation up to seventeen months," Marlinga told Rolling Stone. "We're going to recommend something in the middle range, about six months or less."
According to Marlinga, should Eminem receive a sentence that he and his attorneys find unsuitable, he is able to withdraw his guilty plea and send the case to trial. "It's certainly his right that he's presumed to be innocent, even at that point," Marlinga says. "His guilty plea is conditional, and it can't be used against him. It's a very valuable procedural thing we do in Michigan that helps speed things up, so that the person doesn't have to agonize over, 'What will the judge give me?' and make the call. This way the judge says what he has in mind, and the person can either withdraw the plea or accept it. But note, of course, that if you want to withdraw the plea, it's not likely to get any better for you in the trial." Should the case go to trial, the start date would be several months after the April hearing.
Despite today's plea, Eminem still faces another charge of carrying a concealed weapon in nearby Oakland County, Michigan, from a June 3rd incident in Royal Oak Michigan in which he allegedly threatened a member of the Insane Clown Posse's posse.
Calls to Eminem's attorney were unanswered at press time.