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Eminem Gets Probation

Wry judge tells rapper to "please stand up"

June 28, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Eminem was sentenced to one-year probation and community service Thursday at Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac, Michigan, for charges related to an incident in Royal Oak, Michigan, during which he pulled a gun on Insane Clown Posse associate Douglas Dail.

After reading her decision, Judge Denise Langford Morris told the rapper bluntly and without cracking a smile, "Mr. Mathers, now is the time for you to please stand up. Court is adjourned."

Eminem plead no contest on April 23rd to charges of carrying a concealed weapon and brandishing a firearm in public. The Grammy-winning performer was accused of pulling out an unloaded 9 mm semi-automatic pistol while in a dispute with Dail at a car audio store in Royal Oak, Mich., on June 3rd of last year.

Langford Morris told Eminem and his lawyers that she received a plethora of feedback from the public in regard to the rapper's punishment.

"I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to share a few comments," the judge said. "I received a lot of information from the general public as for recommendations in this case . . . I had suggestions from the public on a wide range of ideas, some that were positive and to your benefit, some very negative," she said sternly as onlookers, including members of Eminem's side project, D12, giggled.

"'Poor judgment' is an understatement for what you did that evening. I received letters that said I should wash your mouth out with soap, make you write a clean song, or sentence you to life in prison."

In sentencing him to probation, Langford Morris threatened Eminem saying that she will put him in jail if he violates his probation. The concealed weapon felony charge carries a maximum of five years in state prison, while the brandishing a firearm is a ninety-day misdemeanor. A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt but it does constitute a conviction. By pleading no contest, Eminem gave up his right to a trial.

"Don't fall, because if you fail to comply with each of the courts orders, I can sentence you to up to five years in a state prison," Langford Morris said. "You're extremely lucky, sir, that no one was injured or killed -- including yourself -- on this evening. Guns are dangerous weapons."

The terms of the probation are the same as those imposed by Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Antonio Viviano on April 10th, when Eminem was sentenced to two years probation. He was charged with carrying a concealed weapon in an automobile and assault with a deadly weapon after he pistol-whipped John Guerra last June 4th at Hot Rock nightclub in Warren, Mich. Eminem claims that he saw Guerra kissing Eminem's now-estranged wife, Kim Mathers. The rapper pled guilty to the concealed weapons count on February 14th. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon. He was sentenced to two years probation on April 10th in that matter. The two probationary sentences will run concurrently.

During his probation, he must not drink alcohol excessively, use any controlled substance unless it is prescribed to him, use or possess a firearm or dangerous weapon, contact Dail, or partake in assaultive or threatening behavior.

Langford Morris also ordered that he pay $300 in court costs, $60 to a crime victims rights fund, a $2,000 fine, and $10 per month in supervision fees, and undergo random drug testing.

"I hope, Mr. Mathers, that you take this matter as seriously as your lawyers have indicated," she said. "The world is watching you. These cameras are not here today for me. They're here for you. They will be following you as the court will be following you. Don't misstep. Don't fall down. This is your opportunity to set an example for the world and all young people," she said.

At the hearing Thursday, Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Mark Bilkovic pushed for jail time, but Eminem's lawyer Walter Piszczatowski said that probation was more appropriate.

"Mr. Mathers has worked hard to stay out of any trouble. It's obviously worked. He's impressed with the sentence of probation he received in Macomb County."

In addressing the court, Piszczatowski blamed the incident on Dail. However, he admitted that the rapper "obviously used poor judgment after being instigated by Mr. Dail."

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