Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
7/6/2005 4:55:09 PM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Lil Kim.
The rap diva, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison Wednesday, for lying to a grand jury about a 2001 gun fight between members of her rap entourage and a rival rap crew.
"I can tell you this is by far the toughest thing I have ever had to go through," Jones said in a thin, shaky voice as she stood before the judge, clutching a Bible, and belatedly admitting guilt after having maintained her innocence throughout trial. "I testified falsely during the grand jury and in trial. At the time, I thought it was the right thing to do, but now I know I was wrong."
Jones was also fined $50,000 and will be on three years' probation after her release. She has requested to do her time at Danbury, a minimum-security federal institution in Connecticut, to be close to her mother. She will surrender to federal authorities on Sept. 19 at 2 p.m.
The 4-foot-11 rap star was convicted March 17, 2005, of one count of conspiracy to commit perjury, and three counts of perjuring herself before a grand jury that was investigating a Feb. 25, 2001 shoot-out in front of a Manhattan radio station.
The judge admonished her Wednesday for perjuring herself again in his courtroom during her turn on the stand.
"You tried to charm them and fake them out," U.S. District Judge Gerard Lynch said of her performance for the jury. "They saw you lie to them. I saw you lie. It was an insult to the court and to the system."
Still, Judge Lynch said he read every single letter he received from family, friends and fans offering support to Jones and urging leniency ("and in one or two cases severity") in her sentencing.
"They do make a difference," he said, as they helped him see "the human being and not just the crime that's being committed."
Judge Lynch suggested Jones read the letters herself, as a reminder to live up to the role model her fans purport her to be.
"It would be gratifying," he told the pint-sized lyricist who calls herself the Queen Bee. "But, I hope it also stings a little."
Jones sat still and timid at the defense table. Gone were the jewels, painted face and overstuffed push-up bra that marks her hip-hop image. She wore a periwinkle pantsuit with matching periwinkle purse, a buttoned-up white blouse, and a pale gloss on her lips.
During the two-and-a-half-hour sentencing hearing, the judge theorized that Jones' 11th-hour acceptance of responsibility and remorse had a profound social effect — that it sent "a message to the hip-hop community" that lying to protect gun-toting criminals "isn't the way to play it."
He also considered how his sentence on "a young, black woman entertainer" would be perceived in the wake of the Martha Stewart perjury trial, which centered on "an older white woman entertainer."
Stewart spent five months in prison and five months home confinement for lying about insider trading. Prosecutors in Jones' case were pushing for 33 to 41 months prison time.
"Do you think I could justify to the newspaper-reading public why [Jones] gets a sentence seven to eight times higher?" Lynch asked prosecutors. He agreed with them, however, that Jones' case was "unquestionably a more serious case" because she perjured herself to protect "people carrying machine guns and shooting at people."
Lil' Kim's troubles began about four years ago when she and members of her former rap family Jr. M.A.F.I.A. were leaving WQHT-FM, Hot 97, a hip-hop station in Greenwich Village where Jones had just made an appearance as a guest DJ.
Her posse was exiting the building just as rival hip-hop rappers Capone-N-Noreaga were arriving.
Jones' crew knew that Kiam Hol
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