NEW YORK (AP) – Rap star Lil Wayne has gotten a temporary reprieve from jail – for dental surgery.
The Grammy Award-winning rapper’s sentencing in a New York City gun case was postponed Tuesday, because he needs to finish a string of recent surgeries before he goes to jail.
Lil Wayne, one of music’s biggest sellers and rap’s hottest stars, is poised to spend as much as a year in jail under a plea deal, though good behavior could shave that to as little as eight months.
Sentencing now is scheduled for March 2. Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon said it wouldn’t be put off any further.
The diminutive rapper, his hair in dreadlocks, said nothing at a brief court session Tuesday afternoon. He left in a black SUV, flanked by fellow rapper Birdman and others.
Defense lawyer Stacey Richman said Lil Wayne was headed home to Miami for dental work Friday. She declined to specify his malady.
“It is a medical situation that, like (it would for) any of us, has to be addressed,” she said outside court. She said the rapper had planned to take care of it before Tuesday, but his dentist had been out of the country doing charitable work.
Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon didn’t fight the rapper’s request to push back his sentencing, saying she had spoken to the dentist.
Lil Wayne, 27, pleaded guilty in October to a charge of attempted criminal possession of a weapon, admitting he illegally had a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic gun on his tour bus in July 2007. Police found the weapon when they stopped the bus after a Manhattan concert.
Last week, Lil Wayne reinforced his place in rap’s pantheon with a commanding performance at the Grammy Awards ceremony. His latest album, “Rebirth,” was released Feb. 2.
Meanwhile, he is preparing himself for jail, his lawyer said.
“He’s a strong man,” she said.
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