Lil Wayne guilty on N.Y. gun charge, headed to prison

NEW YORK Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:33pm EDT

Rap recording artist Lil Wayne watches the Miami Heat play the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff series in Miami, Florida April 27, 2009. REUTERS/Hans Deryk

Rap recording artist Lil Wayne watches the Miami Heat play the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff series in Miami, Florida April 27, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Hans Deryk

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. rapper Lil Wayne pleaded guilty on Thursday to attempted criminal possession of a weapon in a July 2007 incident and will serve a year in prison, New York City prosecutors said.

Lil Wayne, 27, who won best rap album at the 2009 Grammy Awards and whose real name is Dwayne Carter, agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors and will be sentenced at New York State Supreme Court in February.

Prosecutors said a gun was found in his tour bus in July 2007. Rapper Ja Rule was arrested separately on similar charges after a hip hop concert in New York where both men performed.

Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, pleaded innocent and a trial date has not yet been set.

Carter had convinced the court earlier to delay his trial date to accommodate his performing schedule.

The rapper would have faced more serious gun possession charges if the case had gone to trial, as well as a maximum 15-year prison sentence, a spokeswoman at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said.

Carter's lawyer could not be reached for comment.

Carter's album, "Tha Carter III," was the biggest-selling U.S. release of 2008 and won him best rap album and three other prizes at the 2009 Grammy Awards. (Reporting by Edith Honan, Editing by Christine Kearney)

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